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Tokyo Olympics 2020 Day 1 Highlights: Mirabai Chanu wins silver, opens India’s medal account

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Day 1 Highlights: Mirabai Chanu opens India's account with a silver in women's 49kg weightlifting, while badminton, hockey, TT, shooting, and boxing campaigns also begin.

By: Sports Desk Written by Mihir Vasavda | Tokyo |
Updated: July 24, 2021 11:21:35 pm
Tokyo Olympics 2020 Day 1 Highlights: India's Mirabai Chanu poses for photographs while standing on the podium after receiving the silver medal in women's 49 kg category weightlifting event (Source: PTI)

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Day 1 Highlights: Mirabai Chanu opened India’s medal tally at the Tokyo Olympics Saturday, clinching a silver medal in the women’s 49kg weightlifting category. The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg), becoming the second weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari (2000 Sydney Olympics) to win a medal at the Games. The gold was won by China’s Hou Zhihui with an effort of 210kg and the bronze by Indonesia’s Aisah Windy Cantika with an effort of 194kg.

After topping the qualification rounds, Saurabh Chaudhary finished seventh in the 10m air pistol final. In archery, the pair of Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav progressed to the quarters in the mixed team event but bowed out to South Korea. The men’s hockey team beat New Zealand 3-2 in their first group match to make a triumphant start to their campaign. In women’s hockey, India were beaten comprehensively by Netherlands (1-5). In badminton, B Sai Praneeth lost his men’s singles opener but Satwiksairaj Reddy and Chirag Shetty pulled off an upset by beating Chinese Taipei’s Yang Lee/Chi-Lin Wang 21-16, 16-21, 27-25 in their men’s doubles opener.

On the other hand, Sumit Nagal became the first Indian to win a tennis singles match since Leander Paes in 1996 Atlanta Games. Elavenil Valarivan and Apurvi Chandela failed to progress to the 10m air rifle final. Table tennis players Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra lost to third seeds from Chinese Taipei, Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, in the mixed doubles round. But both table tennis women’s singles players, Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee, registered first-round wins. In boxing, Vikas Krishan bowed out in his round of 32 welterweight bout against Japan’s Sewonrets Okazawa. The rowing pair of Arvind Singh and Arjun Lal Jat qualified for the repechage round after finishing fifth in the men’s lightweight double sculls heat. Judoka Sushila Devi’s challenge came to an early end in round of 32.

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India at Tokyo Olympics, Day 1 Highlights: Mirabai Chanu stole the headlines on Saturday as she opened India's account in the ongoing Games with a silver in women's weightlifting 49kg category. Sumit Nagal won in tennis men's singles opener, while men's doubles pair in badminton, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty pulled off an upset. In TT women's singles, Manika Batra, Sutirtha Mukherjee won.

21:38 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Favourites Chaudhary, Verma, Elavenil hit by nerves at crucial moments

The Olympics are rarely kind to first-time Indian shooters and despite being favourites in their event – tags rightfully earned – both Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma disappointed in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol event at the Asaka Shooting Range. Not everyone can light up their debut Games like Chinese shooter Yang Qian, who won the first medal of the Tokyo Olympics, taking down favoured Indians Elavenil Valarivan and Apurvi Chandela on her way to gold in the women’s 10m Air Rifle event.

What Chaudhary and Verma have garnered here are certain moments and instances – ones that they will pore over with their coaches and reflect in private. Their response to some of those moments, borne out of a combination of pressure and inexperience, will define what kind of shooters they become.


21:21 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Mirabai lifts the spirits

At first, Mirabai Chanu thought it was a dream. “I forgot where I was standing,” she laughs.

The piercing voice of the emcee jolted her back into reality. “I thought, ‘oh, that’s an Olympic podium!’” The 10 seconds that followed – when she flashed a big, wide smile, waved to an empty auditorium and stepped on the podium – are a blur for Chanu. “The next thing I saw was a silver medal hanging around my neck.”


20:08 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Dutch rower tests positive

Finn Florijn, a 21-year-old vaccinated Dutch rower, tested Covid positive after his single sculls race. " I was hopeful to improve in the rematch. Now it's over in an instant."

18:44 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Comprehensive win for Netherlands

India struggled against World Champions Netherlands in the last two quarters and ended up conceding a string of goals. Only Rani Rampal managed to score for India. Also, India failed to earn a penalty corner in the game compared to several by Netherlands. After losing the match by 1-5, India will take on Germany on July 26 to keep their Olympics hopes alive. 

Final score: IND 1-5 NED

18:35 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Another penalty corner, another goal

India gifted Netherlands a penalty corner and paid the price for it. The Indian defender failed to clear the ball properly after Savita denied a goal. Netherlands are completely dominating India with a four-goal lead. With more than 7 minutes to go, India are unlikely to make a comeback. IND 1-5 NED

18:31 (IST)24 Jul 2021

There was a chance for India to narrow down the lead but the shot was not on target. India are not even taking the free hit properly which led to losing possession. So far, India have not earned a penalty corner. IND 1-4 NED 

18:27 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Last quarter underway

India are desperately looking for goals after conceding three in the third quarter. Two minutes into the last quarter but Netherlands players were not troubled. 

18:25 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Netherlands score again

Matla scores again as the ball goes between Savita Punia's pads. All of a sudden, the defenders have lost their intensity and Netherlands are making full use of it. Very difficult for India to make a comeback from here. IND 1-4 NED

18:22 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Netherlands stretch lead

The attack came from the right flank and Netherlands stretch their lead over India. Felice Abers scores her second goal in a similar way she scored her first. IND 1-3 NED

18:19 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Referral wasted!

India waste their only referral. Vandana was not sure but the referee had to signal for the TV umpire to check body contact since the appeal was made. Meanwhile, India are still looking for equaliser with few minutes to go in third quarter. 

18:17 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Judo: Joy for Kosovo!

The country which self-declared itself as independent state after war against Serb-dominated Yugoslav forces in 2008 but not officially deemed independent by India, Russia, China won its second ever gold when Distria Krasniqi clinched the women's 48kg judo.

18:15 (IST)24 Jul 2021
No penalty corner for India yet

A couple of spirited counter-attacks from India but they could not convert them into goals. India are yet to earn a penalty corner in this contest. They need one here to equalise. IND 1-2 NED

18:11 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Netherlands take lead

Finally, Netherlands manage to convert penalty corner into a goal in the 33rd minute. It was good referral from Netherlands and they have taken a lead now. Van Geffen helps deflect the shot and it beats Savita Punia. IND 1-2 NED

18:07 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Netherlands opt for referral

Netherlands earn their penalty corner after challenging the referee's decision. 

18:03 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Second half underway

Second half/third quarter is now underway. So far, it has been a brilliant effort from India so far. In the 32nd minute, Savita Punia denies Netherlands two goals. IND 1-1 NED

17:52 (IST)24 Jul 2021
End of second quarter

India were mostly on the attack in the second quarter after conceding a penalty corner. However, there was no shot on target. No goals were scored in the second quarter. IND 1-1 NED

17:43 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Savita keeps them out

Sloppy defending from India resulted in another penalty corner for Netherlands. Savita Punia does well to fend off the first flick and then slides to his right to save another. India launch a counter-attack but it was stopped in its tracks. The referee pulls out for a harsh challenge by Laura Nunnik. IND 1-1 NED 

17:37 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Second quarter underway

The second quarter underway and India throw away possession twice in the first two minutes. India are under pressure. It seems like Savita's goalkeeping skills will be tested even more in this passage of play. IND 1-1 NED

17:33 (IST)24 Jul 2021
End of first quarter

Rani Rampal has helped India equalise after an early error to concede a goal. So far, Netherlands have had more possession. IND 1-1 NED

17:31 (IST)24 Jul 2021
Penalty corner for Netherlands

A harsh challenge by Kaur leads to a penalty corner. The goalkeeper does well to fend off two shots on target. Indian defenders manage to push back and avert the danger. IND 1-1 NED

India at Tokyo Olympics, Day 1 Highlights: The Games were declared open by Japan’s Emperor Naruhito after which tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games on Friday, ending the flame’s long journey from Greece to these delayed Olympics. The cauldron sat atop a peak inspired by Mount Fuji. It was a sphere that opened like a flower, “to embody vitality and hope,” organizers said. A second cauldron has been placed in Tokyo’s waterfront area was to be lit after the opening ceremony. The games, delayed for a year by the pandemic, have had competition taking place since earlier in the week, but are not considered officially having started until the opening ceremony.

The Tokyo 2020 Flag bearers Harmanpreet Singh of India and Mary Kom Hmangte of India lead their contingent during the athletes' parade at the opening ceremony. (Source: Reuters)

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