India's Olympic contingent was expected to net between six and eight medals by now. Reality check: India is yet to open its account. Even Fiji has a gold now. Many medal hopefuls have fallen, due to a combination of a lack of composure in death situations and, let's face it, superior opponents.
So, the shooters and the archers have packed up their equipment and their medal hopes. There have been disappointing exits from boxing. Whom does that leave, with six days of the Games having ended?
Yogeshwar Dutt, Men’s 65 kg freestyle wrestling
Icon player he may be for the Haryana Hammers in India's Pro Wrestling League, but Dutt’s biggest claim to fame is his bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics in the 60 kg category.
Having lost to Besik Kudukhov of Russia, who made it to the final and eventually won a silver, Dutt received a chance to contest in the repechage rounds. He then won three bouts in the space of 45 minutes to win India’s second wrestling medal in London after Sushil Kumar’s silver in the 66 kg category.
Thanks to doping and other controversies, Indian wrestling contingent isn't going into the Olympics in the best of mental shape, but will that affect Dutt? The “Yogi” might be secretly thankful of the fact that the Narsingh Yadav saga has taken the focus off him. Dutt has the tools to do it and, most recently, has the 2014 Asian Games gold to his name.
Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, Tennis mixed doubles
This probably represents India’s easiest and best chance to win a medal at these Games. The draw has been more than kind to the Indian pairing, both of whom are good doubles players in their own right. And, obligingly, the other seeded pairs have lost in the first round.
Mirza has been in sparkling form in 2015, winning three Grand Slam doubles titles with Martina Hingis and has been ranked No. 1 in women’s doubles for more than a year now.
Although 36, Rohan Bopanna can finally play freely now that the shadow of Leander Paes no longer looms over him. Although the World No. 15 in doubles has never won a Grand Slam, his consistency and his combination with Mirza make them a good bet as any other pair.
Saina Nehwal, Badminton women’s singles
Nehwal is the second of the existing Olympic medal winners on this list, and the 26-year old from Hisar in Haryana, will look to make it back-to-back medals, which would be first for an Indian woman.
The draw has been tough on her, however. If she gets through to the quarterfinal, she's on a collision course China's Li Xuerui, the gold medallist from the 2012 Olympics. Although she boasts of a winning record against a number of top players on the circuit, including the World No. 1 Carolina Marin, she hasn't done as well against Li, winning just two of their 14 match-ups.
Atanu Das, Men’s archery
A rather surprise pick, given that Das wasn’t even awarded the original quota to compete at the Olympics. In the days leading up to the Olympics, though, Das prevailed in the trials, thus assuring himself of a ticket to Rio.
He has improved by leaps and bounds, and has looked like the best Indian archer at these games, male or female. Das shot an impressive 683 to finish fifth in the ranking round, and ensure himself a good draw in the knockout stage.
With world record holder and the top-ranked Kim Woojin knocked out in the round of 32, the field is more open now. Having come through two knockout rounds, Das will face his toughest challenge yet against World No 8 Lee Seung-Yun for a place in the quarters.
Men's hockey team
The Indian men's hockey team has already achieved a bit of history: for the first time in 36 years, they have made it to the knockout stages of the Olympics. PR Sreejesh's men have been spirited and resilient in their four matches in the group stage so far – they were strong in wins against Ireland and Argentina, and lost only narrowly to big guns Germany and the Netherlands.
The quarter-finals will be a different ball game, however. Depending on where they finish, India will face either Belgium, Spain, Australia or New Zealand. It will not be easy but do not put it past this team to make a statement.
Dipa Karmakar, Women's gymnastics vault
Who knows what a couple of miraculous Produnova vaults can produce?