India sent a record contingent to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, surpassing their mark from Rio 2016. While the initial contingent was tallied at 119 athletes, Sumit Nagal (tennis) and Diksha Dagar (golf) also made the cut late, making the contingent officially 121-member strong as per the International Olympic Committee.
It is worth noting that a squad of 16 was allowed for a hockey match but Indian teams also used two players from their reserves and a total of 18 players made appearances in the tournament. In athletics, some members of the original squad of 119 did not end up participating in any of the relay events. So the count of who represented India in various events stands approximately at 120-plus.
The Games started off with a bang for India, with a silver for weightlifter Mirabai Chanu on the first official day of action and finished with wrestler Bajrang Punia and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra (with a gold, no less) pushing the country past their previous highest medal tally.
While the medal winners will be celebrated in the years to come, it is important to recognise and, at the very least, record the achievements of every athlete who went to the Olympics. One of the things you always hear associated with the Olympics is how participation at the Games is no mean feat, but it is especially more so in a year like 2021. The pandemic-delayed Games made things challenging in some way or the other for every athlete to took part.
Here, we take a look at the overall results from every event featuring an Indian athlete:
India's updated entry count for Tokyo Olympics
|Hockey||16 (+2)||16 (+2)||32|
India's medal winners at Tokyo Olympics
|Silver||Mirabai Chanu||Weightlifting||Women's 49 kg||24 July|
|Bronze||PV Sindhu||Badminton||Women's singles||1 August|
|Bronze||Lovlina Borgohain||Boxing||Women's welterweight||4 August|
|Silver||Ravi Kumar Dahiya||Wrestling||Men's freestyle 57 kg||5 August|
|Bronze||Men's hockey team||Field hockey||Men's tournament||5 August|
|Gold||Neeraj Chopra||Athletics||Men's javelin throw||7 August|
|Bronze||Bajrang Punia||Wrestling||Men's freestyle 65 kg||7 August|
Archery is one of the most exciting live events to watch at the Olympic Games and it sure produced stunning moments from the Indian athletes. Pravin Jadhav was arguably the find of the Games, finishing as the best male archer in the qualification and earning a shot at the mixed team event with Deepika Kumari. He was even more impressive in the men’s team event defeat against Korea, while going on to defeat the world No 2 archer in the individual event.
Atanu Das produced the moment of the archery campaign for India when he stunned Korean legend Oh Jinhyek in a shootoff.
At the end of it all, the wait for the first medal is still not over. Deepika Kumari, ranked world No 1, paid the price for being the ninth seed in qualification and ended up meeting the eventual champion An San in the quarterfinal. A better seeding would have taken her to the semifinal and given her a real shot at medal. Das also failed to make the most of a wide open men’s draw that saw none of the top eight seeds finish on the podium. He’d perhaps be the most disappointed across the board.
The expectations were high this time, and the contingent did not do themselves any favour by starting off poorly in the qualification round and ending up with difficult draws across the board as a result of their ranking round performances.
|Men's Individual||Atanu Das|| Qual: 653/720 (Rank 35) |
Eliminations: Lost in Rd of 16 against JPN
|Men's Individual||Pravin Ramesh Jadhav|| Qual: 656/720 (Rank 31)|
Eliminations: Lost in Rd of 32 against USA
|Men's Individual||Tarundeep Rai|| Qual: 652/720 (Rank 37)|
Eliminations: Lost in Rd of 32 against ISR
|Women's Individual||Deepika Kumari|| Qual: 663/720 (Rank 9)|
Eliminations: Lost in QF against KOR
|Men's Team||Atanu Das, Pravin Ramesh Jadhav, Tarundeep Rai|| Qual: 1961/2160 (Rank 9)|
Eliminations: Lost in QF against KOR
|Mixed team||Deepika Kumari & Pravin Jadhav|| Qual: 1319/1440 (Rank 9)|
Eliminations: Lost in QF against KOR
Only the second Indian woman to participate in artistic gymnastics at the Olympics, Pranati Nayak would have found it difficult to qualify in the all-round category that is dominated by the powerhouses, but she also missed out on a spot in the final in any of the individual apparatuses. In vault, she registered only one attempt, while two attempts are needed for consideration to reach final.
|Women's Artistic Gymnastics||Pranati Nayak|| All around qualification rank 79|
Vault: 13.466 (one attempt only)
Uneven bars: 9.033
Balance Beam: 9.433
Did not progress to final in any division
The headliner from the track and field is, without a doubt Neeraj Chopra. Apart from the javelin champion, Kamalpreet Kaur stood out by qualifying to the discus throw final with the second best throw. In the final, she couldn’t quite get going, finishing sixth. Avinash Sable continued his fine knack of setting a new personal bests at big events, rewriting his own national record in 3000m steeplechase. The men’s 4x400m relay produced an impressive performance to set a new Asian Record (and a national record, by extension of course) but, like Sable, fell agonisingly short of qualifying for the final.
Elsewhere though, there was disappointment galore for the athletes. While no one other than Neeraj, and perhaps Kamalpreet, were seen as medal contenders, a vast majority of them couldn’t get anywhere close to their personal bests. Perhaps an indication that they had peaked before the Games, trying to attain qualifying marks at the 11th hour.
|Men's 3000m Steeplechase||Avinash Mukund Sable|| Rank in heats: 13th overall|
Timing: 8:18.12 (NATIONAL RECORD)
|Men's 400m Hurdles||MP Jabir|| Rank in heats: 33rd overall|
|Men's Long Jump||M Sreeshankar|| Rank in qual: 25th overall |
Best jump: 7.69
|Men's Shot Put||Tajinderpal Singh Toor|| Rank in qual: 24th overall |
Best throw: 19.99
|Men's Javelin Throw||Neeraj Chopra|| Rank in qual: 1st overall|
Best throw: 86.65
Rank in final: 1st (GOLD)
Best throw: 87.58
|Men's Javelin Throw||Shivpal Singh|| Rank in qual: overall|
Best throw: 76.40
|Men's 20km Race Walk||KT Irfan|| Position: 51|
|Men's 20km Race Walk||Sandeep Kumar|| Position: 23|
|Men's 20km Race Walk||Rahul|| Position: 47|
|Men's 50km Race Walk||Gurpreet Singh||Did Not Finish|
|Men's 4 x 400m Relay||Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv, Noah Nirmal Tom, Muhammed Anas Yahiya|| Rank in heats: 9th overall|
Timing: 3:00.25 (ASIAN RECORD)
|Women's 100m||Dutee Chand|| Rank in heats: 45th overall (round 1)|
|Women's 200m||Dutee Chand|| Rank in heats: 38th overall (round 1)|
|Women's Discus Throw||Kamalpreet Kaur|| Rank in qual: 2nd overall|
Best throw: 64.00
Rank in final: 6th
Best throw: 63.70
|Women's Discus Throw||Seema Punia|| Rank in qual: 16th overall|
Best throw: 60.57
|Women's Javelin Throw||Annu Rani|| Rank in qual: 29th overall|
Best throw: 54.04
|Women's 20km Race Walk||Bhawna Jat|| Position: 32|
|Women's 20km Race Walk||Priyanka|| Position: 17|
|4 x 400m Relay Mixed||Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan, Arokia Rajiv|| Rank in heats: 15th overall|
It was a hat-trick for Indian badminton at the Olympics and once again, it was PV Sindhu delivering at a big-ticket event. She became the first Indian woman athlete to win two Olympic medals. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were incredibly unlucky that the things panned out in such a way that despite defeating the eventual champions and winning two out of three group stage matches, they could not progress to the knockouts.
For B Sai Praneeth, there was disappointment as he paid the price for a shock defeat in his opening group match and got eliminated even before starting his second. It was unfortunate for India because the knockout draw opened up big time for Sai with the elimination of Ng Ka Long Angus and Kento Momota in the group stages, leaving the door open for a run to the semi-finals and a possible medal.
|Men's Singles||B Sai Praneeth||Group stage: Lost against Misha Zilberman and Mark Caljouw in straight games|
|Women's Singles||PV Sindhu|| Group stage: Defeated Ksenia Polikarpova, Cheung Ngan Yi in straight games |
Round of 16: Defeated Mia Blichfeldt in straight games
QF: Defeated Akane Yamaguchi in straight games
SF: Lost against Tai Tzu Ying in straight games
Bronze medal: Defeated He Bingjiao in straight games
|Men's Doubles||Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty|| Group stage: Defeated Lee/Wang in three games, lost against Gideon/Sukamuljo in straight games, defeated Sean/Vendy in straight games|
An unprecedented nine Indian boxers – five men and four women – made the cut for the showpiece but only one of them could finish on the podium, with Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) securing the lone medal, India’s first in nine years. She reached the semifinals to assure bronze and lost to the eventual champion.
Handed tricky draws, the men, however, could log just one win across the board – through debutant super heavyweight Satish Kumar – while world no 1 Amit Panghal (52kg) was among the rest who lost in the opening round.
Mary Kom endured the heartbreak of a hard-fought, and in her mind an unfair, split decision defeat.
The star of the contingent, without a doubt, was Borgohain for her two wins against quality opponents and putting up a fight till the end against a red-hot boxer in the semifinal.
|Men's Fly (48-52kg)||Amit Panghal||Round of 16: Lost 1-4 against Yurberjen Martínez Rivas|
|Men's Light (57-63kg)||Manish Kaushik||Round of 32: Lost 1-4 against Luke McCormack|
|Men's Welter (63-69kg)||Vikas Krishan Yadav||Round of 32: Lost 0-5 against Quincy Okazawa|
|Men's Middle (69-75kg)||Ashish Kumar||Round of 32: Lost 0-5 against Erbieke Tuoheta|
|Men's Super Heavy (+91kg)||Satish Kumar|| Round of 16: Won 4-1 against Ricardo Brown|
QF: Lost 0-5 against Bakhodir Jalolov
|Women's Fly (48-51kg)||MC Mary Kom||Round of 16: Won 4-1 against Miguelina Hernandez Garcia|
|Women's Light (57-60kg)||Simranjit Kaur Baatth||Round of 16: Lost 0-5 against Sudaporn Seesondee|
|Women's Welter (64-69kg)||Lovlina Borgohain|| Round of 16: Won 3-2 against Nadine Apetz|
QF: Won 4-1 against Chen Nien Chen
SF: Lost 0-5 against Busenaz Surmeneli
|Women's Middle (69-75kg)||Pooja Rani|| Round of 16: Won 5-0 against Ichrak Chaib|
QF: Lost 0-5 against Qian Li
If you had watched the Equestrian Eventing live on the broadcast, you would have heard the commentators reserve some rich praise for Fouaad Mirza, who rode Seigneur Medicott, and qualified for the jumping individual final, courtesy three solid rounds of qualifying across Dressage, Cross Country and Jumping. The 29-year-old Bengaluru rider, who was the first equestrian to qualify for the Olympics since Imtiaz Anees in Sydney 2000, was in the top 10 after the Dressage round.
(In the points system, penalties are used to decide standings. Lower the penalty (zero being best), better you performed)
|Eventing Individual||Fouaad Mirza|| Dressage: 28.00|
Cross Country: 11.20
1st Jump: 8.00
Final Jump: 12.40
Total penalties: 59.60
Final rank: 23
Fencing is one of the sporting events that has been part of every edition of the modern Olympic Games but we had to wait till 2021 in Tokyo for an Indian to feature. CA Bhavani Devi made history even before her campaign began in Tokyo. In the women’s individual sabre event, she won her round of 64 bout before going down fighting against the world No 3 Manon Brunet in the second round.
|Women's Sabre Individual||CA Bhavani Devi|| Round of 64: Defeated TUN|
Round of 32: Lost against FRA
Every Olympic Games, there comes a story so captivating that it makes you sit up, drop everything else you are doing, and watch on intently even if it is a sport you do not follow regularly. Aditi Ashok made thousands of Indians not only watch golf for the first time at the Olympics, but made them curious about rules and follow her quest for what would have frankly been a ridiculous medal.
|Men's Individual Stroke Play||Anirban Lahiri|| Rounds: 67, 72, 68, 72 (Par 71)|
To Par: -5
Final standing: Tied-42nd
|Men's Individual Stroke Play||Udayan Mane|| Rounds: 76, 69, 70, 72 (Par 71)|
To Par: +3
Final standing: 56th
|Women's Individual Stroke Play||Aditi Ashok|| Rounds: 67, 66, 68, 68 (Par 71)|
To Par: -15
Final standing: 4th
|Women's Individual Stroke Play||Diksha Dagar|| Rounds: 76, 72, 72, 70 (Par 71)|
To Par: +6
Final standing: Tied 50th
A memorable hockey tournament for both the Indian teams, with the men ending a 41-year wait for a medal in the event while the women went beyond expectations and their rankings to not just reach the knockouts, but stun the mighty Australians. Even in the semifinal and bronze medal match, the team lost out only by the finest margins. The men’s team suffered just two defeats in the tournament, coming against the eventual finalists, and produced a thriller against Germany to clinch bronze.
|Indian men's hockey team||BRONZE MEDAL (3rd)|
|Indian women's hockey team||4th (defeat in bronze medal match)|
Indian men's hockey team results
|New Zealand (Grp)||India win||3-2|
|Australia (Grp)||India lost||1-7|
|Spain (Grp)||India win||3-0|
|Argentina (Grp)||India win||3-1|
|Japan (Grp)||India win||5-3|
|Great Britain (QF)||India win||3-1|
|Belgium (SF)||India lost||2-5|
|Germany (BRONZE)||India win||4-5|
Indian women's hockey team results
|Netherlands (Grp)||India lost||1-5|
|Germany (Grp)||India lost||0-2|
|Great Britain (Grp)||India lost||1-4|
|Ireland (Grp)||India won||1-0|
|South Africa (Grp)||India won||4-3|
|Australia (QF)||India won||1-0|
|Argentina (SF)||India lost||1-2|
|Great Britain (Bronze)||India lost||3-4|
Sushila Devi lost against Hungarian Eva Csernoviczki, a 2012 London edition bronze medallist, who pinned Sushila for a full 20 seconds to claim the Ippon and win the round of 32 match.
Sushila fought hard for a major part of the bout until she committed a small error, which proved costly. It was always going to be tough for the 26 year-old from Manipur at the world’s premier sporting competition. She was the only Indian Judo athlete at this year’s Olympic Games. She had qualified for her maiden Games via continental quota.
|Women -48 kg||Shushila Devi Likmabam||Lost in round of 32|
Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh produced the best-ever Olympic performance by Indian rowers as they bettered Dattu Bhokanal’s efforts in Rio (13th) to finish 11th in the men’s lightweight double sculls. They reached the Semifinal A/B race through repechage and that earned a spot in the top 12.
Rowing Lightweight Men's Double Sculls
|Athletes||Race||Rank in race||Time|
|Arjun Lal Jat & Arvind Singh||Heat 2||5||6:40.33|
|Semifinal A/B 2||6||6:24.41|
|Final B||5 (Overall 11th)||6:29.66|
In sailing, India were competing in multiple events for the first time . The highlight for the contingent was Vishnu Saravanan finished third in one of the ranking races. Nethra Kumanan too was in the top 20 in three out of her 10 races.
|Event||Athlete||Race||Standing in race (=points)|
|Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser|| Vishnu Saravanan |
(Overall standing: 20/35)
|Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial|| Nethra Kumanan |
(Overall standing: 35/44)
|Men's Skiff - 49er|| KC Ganapathy & Varun Thakkar |
(Overall standing: 17/19)
India’s highly-rated shooting contingent fired a blank for the second straight Olympics Games, wrapping up their campaign at Tokyo 2020 with just one final appearance from 15 shooters.
Let that sink in: India reached just one final across ten events at Tokyo Olympics. That, perhaps more than anything, was the biggest surprise, taking into account the fact that medals are no guarantee in the final for such an unpredictable sport. Just like Rio 2016, India didn’t have a single medal in a discipline that has generally seen success for India at the international stage.
Read more about the team’s performances here.
Shooting individual events
|Athlete||Event||Qualification score||Qualificationposition||Last finalist cut-off (Top 8)|
|Saurabh Chaudhary||10 m air pistol||586||1st||(qualified, placed 7th)|
|Abhishek Verma||10 m air pistol||575||17||578|
|Manu Bhaker||10 m air pistol||575||12||577|
|Yashaswini Deswal||10 m air pistol||574||13||577|
|Deepak Kumar||10 m air rifle||624.7||26||629.2|
|Divyansh Singh Panwar||10 m air rifle||622.8||32||629.2|
|Apurvi Chandela||10 m air rifle||621.9||36||628.5|
|Elavenil Valarivan||10 m air rifle||626.5||16||628.5|
|Sanjeev Rajput||50 m rifle 3 positions||1157||32||1176|
|Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar||50 m rifle 3 positions||1167||21||1176|
|Rahi Sarnobat||25 m pistol||573||32||584|
|Manu Bhaker||25 m pistol||582||15||584|
|Tejaswini Sawant||50 m rifle 3 positions||1154||33||1171|
|Anjum Moudgil||50 m rifle 3 positions||1167||15||1171|
|Mairaj Ahmad Khan||Skeet||117||25||122|
|Angad Vir Singh Bajwa||Skeet||120||18||122|
Shooting mixed team events
|Athlete||Event||Qualification score||Qualificationposition||Last finalist cut-off (Top 8)|
|Deepak Kumar & Anjum Moudgil||10 m air rifle team mixed team||623.8||18||627.9|
|Divyansh Singh Panwar & Elavenil Valarivan||10 m air rifle team mixed team||626.5||12||627.9|
|Saurabh Chaudhary & Manu Bhaker||10 m air pistol team mixed team||582||Qualified first in stage 1, out in stage 2 (7/8)||575|
|Abhishek Verma & Yashaswini Deswal||10 m air pistol team mixed team||564||17||575|
Srihari Nataraj and Sajan Prakash achieved Olympic Qualification Timing (OQT) ‘A’ level timings recently to create history for Indian swimming. Maana Patel received a spot through Universality quota. Here’s how the fared in their races:
|Women's 100m Backstroke||Maana Patel|| Rank in heats: 39th overall|
|Men's 200m Freestyle||Sajan Prakash||Did not participate|
|Men's 100m Backstroke||Srihari Nataraj|| Rank in heats: 27th overall|
|Men's 100m Butterfly||Sajan Prakash|| Rank in heats: 46th overall|
|Men's 200m Butterfly||Sajan Prakash|| Rank in heats: 24th overall|
Sharath Kamal, still going strong at 39, produced what he called one of the best performances in his career as he pushed Ma Long in the round 2 match to all corners before eventually losing in five games. G Sathiyan had a disappointing debut, losing a match he would have won nine times out of 10, in the second round. Manika Batra was impressive too in her second Olympics campaign and played two superb matches to go as far as the third round. Sutirtha Mukherjee, the lowest ranked among the four, pulled off a nice win against a higher-ranked opponent in round one.
|Men's Singles||Achanta Sharath Kamal|| Round 2: Defeated Tiago Apolonia 4-2|
Round 3: Lost against Ma Long 1-4
|Men's Singles||Sathiyan Gnanasekaran|| Round 2: Lost 3-4 against Hang Siu Lam |
|Women's Singles||Manika Batra|| Round 1: Defeated Ho Tin-Tin 4-0|
Round 2: Defeated Margaryta Pesotska 4-3
Round 3: Lost against Sofia Polcanova 0-4
|Women's Singles||Sutirtha Mukherjee|| Round 1: Defeated Linda Bergstroem 4-3|
Round 2: Lost against Fu Yu 0-4
|Mixed Doubles||Achanta Sharath Kamal & Manika Batra|| Lost against TPE in round of 16 |
The drama that preceded their Olympics campaign did not quite match the results on court as another lukewarm campaign for Indian tennis came to an early close. Sumit Nagal became the first Indian since Leander Paes in 1996 to win a singles match at the Games but world No 2 Daniil Medvedev in the second round was a step up too far. The disappointment however was in doubles where Ankita Raina and Sania Mirza lost their first round match after taking the first 6-0 and serving for the second set.
|Women's Doubles||Sania Mirza & Ankita Raina||Lost in first round 0-6, 6-7, [8-10] against Kichenok sisters|
|Men's singles||Sumit Nagal|| Round 1: Defeated Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-7, 6-4|
Round 2: Lost against Daniil Medvedev 2-6, 1-6
Mirabai Chanu won India’s first medal at Tokyo Olympics with a silver in women’s 49kg weightlifting.
The Indian lifted a total of 202kgs to finish second to China’s Hou Zhihui, who won the gold with an Olympic record total of 210 kgs. She started with successful lifts of 84kg and 87kg in the snatch to make the perfect start to her quest for a podium finish. A world record holder in clean and jerk in women’s 49kg category, Mirabai was in a good position to finish on the podium once she was in the top places after the snatch. The Indian made a successful attempt of 110 kg to start off Clean & Jerk before an incredible second lift of 115 kg
She became the second Indian to win an Olympic medal in weightlifting after Karnam Malleswari’s historic bronze in 2000 and just the fifth individual to win a silver medal.
|Women's 49kg||Mirabai Chanu|| Snatch: 87 kg|
Clean and Jerk: 115 kg
Total: 202 kg
Rank: Silver medal
In wrestling, the undoubted success story was Ravi Kumar Dahiya who produced a stunning comeback in the second period of his semifinal bout to ensure India would medal for the fourth consecutive Games in the sport. But it was a strange old campaign for the grapplers as there was a sense of underachievement at the end despite adding two medals to India’s tally. Bajrang Punia expected more from himself than a bronze while top seed Vinesh Phogat endured another Olympics heartbreak, this time due to the results that did not go her way in a tough field.
|Women's Freestyle 50kg||Seema Bisla|| Lost in round of 16|
|Women's Freestyle 53kg||Vinesh Phogat|| Won in round of 16|
Lost in quarterfinal
|Women's Freestyle 57kg||Anshu Malik|| Lost in round of 16|
Lost in repechage round 1
|Women's Freestyle 62kg||Sonam Malik|| Lost in round of 16|
|Men's Freestyle 57kg||Ravi Kumar|| Won in round of 16|
Won in QF
Won in SF
Lost in final
Rank: 2 (SILVER)
|Men's Freestyle 65kg||Bajrang Punia|| Won in round of 16|
Won in QF
Lost in SF
Won in bronze medal bout
Rank: 3 (BRONZE)
|Men's Freestyle 86kg||Deepak Punia|| Won in round of 16|
Won in QF
Lost in SF
Lost in bronze medal bout
With inputs from Zenia D’Cunha and PTI
Clarification: The article was originally published without the swimmers’s results. The error has been rectified.
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