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Tokyo Olympics 2021 India, Day 14 Highlights: Bajrang Punia to fight for Bronze, Men’s relay team breaks Asian record

Tokyo Olympics 2021 India Events Schedule, Day 14: Bajrang Punia lost in his semifinal and will fight for Bronze. Indian women hockey team lost out on bronze in a spirited performance against Great Britain earlier.

By: Sports Desk Written by Mihir Vasavda | Tokyo |
Updated: August 7, 2021 1:43:33 am
Bajrang PuniaBajrang Punia outwitted Kazakhstan's Daulet Niyazbekov 8-0 in the play-off on Saturday to win India's sixth medal at the ongoing edition. (File Photo)

Tokyo Olympics 2021 India, Day 14 Highlights: India’s star wrestler Bajrang Punia lost in the semifinal and will fight for Bronze. He began his campaign by narrowly defeating Kyrgystan’s Ernazar Akmataliev in the men’s freestyle 65 kg category and then ousting Iran’s Morteza Ghiasi by fall to book his place in the semifinals. It was, however, the end of the road for India’s women wrestlers with Seema Bisla bowing out in her first bout of women’s freestyle 50kg category.

In another sensational but heartbreaking performance, the Indian men’s quartet comprising Muhammed Anas, Nirmal Noah Tom, Arokia Rajiv and Amoj Jacob created a new Asian record when they finished fourth in 4X400m relay (Heat 2) clocking 3 minutes 00.25 seconds. They finished 9th overall, missing out on a spot in the final by the narrowest of margins. The Indian hockey’s Tokyo Olympics campaign came to a close as the women in blue went down 3-4 to defending champions Great Britain in their bronze medal match. After the men side brought home a hockey medal for the first time in 41 years, the Rani Rampal-led side produced a spirited performance, even leading at one point before bowing out with best fourth finish ever.

In the women’s 20-km racewalk, Priyanka Goswami was with the leading pack in the first half of the race, being ranked 1st after 8 kms, but eventually ended 17th. Meanwhile, golfer Aditi Ashok had another good day, finishing Round 3 in second place. In athletics, Gurpreet Singh dropped out of his 50km race walk early in the morning.

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Tokyo Olympics 2021 India, Day 14 Highlights: Bajrang Punia to compete in bronze medal match; Aditi Ashok finishes Round 3 tied second; India lose bronze to Great Britain in women's hockey

20:50 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Punjab to name roads and schools after Olympic medal winners

Punjab School Education and Public Works Department Minister Vijay Inder Singla Friday said the state government has decided to name roads and schools after Olympic medal winning players.
Congratulating the Indian men's hockey team for clinching an Olympic (bronze) medal after 41 years, he said these players have made the country proud, and naming roads and schools after them would be a small token of appreciation.
In an official statement, Singla said Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has given his approval to the proposal and officials have been directed to initiate the process at the earliest. 
He said the road connecting the residence and school of the area of the respective medal winning player will be named after them to inspire the youngsters.

20:27 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Schedule for Day 15: What to look forward to

On the penultimate day of the Tokyo Olympics, Indians have their last chance to increase their medal tally. 

Aditi Ashok has emerged as a surprise contender in Women’s Golf for a medal. With three days of play having been completed, and only one more day remaining, she is still in 2nd place, on course for a Silver medal, India’s first Olympics medal in Golf. What makes her prospects more intriguing is that there is a typhoon forecast in Tokyo on the weekend. If all 18 holes are not possible on Saturday, Aditi Ashok will win silver based on her rank at the end of the third day.

Later in the afternoon, Indian participation ends with a double bonanza of Bajrang Punia playing his Bronze medal match in Freestyle Wrestling and Neeraj Chopra’s Javelin final.

19:51 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Jessica Springsteen earns an encore performance

Jessica Springsteen, daughter of famed rocker Bruce Springsteen, qualifies for the team equestrian jumping final. She competed for Team USA in the team jumping qualification, helping the team advance to the final.

READ | The Boss’ daughter: Preferring show-jumping over showbiz, Bruce Springsteen’s offspring is a Tokyo Olympian

Springsteen is the daughter of The Boss and his E Street Band wife, Patti Scialfa. The 29-year-old — ranked 14th in the world — failed to make the individual jumping finals in her Olympic debut this week, but came back with a strong ride today. Her horse, Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, clipped a rail on the 13th of 14 obstacles, but was otherwise flawless.

19:45 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Italy wins 4x100 relay gold

Italy has surprisingly won the men’s 4x100-meter relay. First time in over 70 years. This also gives Marcell Jacobs his second gold medal of the Tokyo Games. The Jamaican women added the 4x100-meter relay title to their Tokyo Olympic collection after sweeping the podium in the 100-meter final.

19:42 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Post-final beer run leaves Aussie hockey players in hot water

Australian hockey players who sought to drown their sorrows in beer after losing the Olympic gold medal match also temporarily lost their freedom on Friday, after breaching COVID-19 rules by leaving the athletes' village to buy the booze.

Five members of the men's squad had been reprimanded and isolated in their rooms, Team Australia chief Ian Chesterman said, adding a further blemish to the team's reputation a few days after rugby sevens players and rowers from the same nation damaged rooms in the athletes village.

Chesterman said three of the players left the village to buy two cases of beer at 0300 on Friday, hours after Australia lost the final to Belgium. (Reuters)

19:14 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Netherlands win gold in women's hockey with 3-1 victory over Argentina

The Netherlands won their fourth Olympic women's hockey title by beating Argentina 3-1 in the final at the Tokyo Games on Friday.

The Netherlands effectively settled the match in the second quarter, scoring three times off penalty corners, with one goal from Margot van Geffen and two from Caia van Maasakker. Argentina replied with moments left to play in the first half when Agustina Gorzelany also scored off a penalty corner. Las Leonas kept fighting after the halftime break but were unable to score again, settling for the silver medal. (Reuters)

19:09 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Vetter on Neeraj Chopra

"I really like him. He’s very friendly and open-minded. During our car ride, we did not talk a lot about javelin. We spoke about family, private life and discussed how things are going in Germany and India," says Johannes Vetter, the favourite to win the gold medal ahead of Neeraj tomorrow.

18:52 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Annika Schleu and the horse who refused to follow her dream

Annika Schleu saw her Modern Pentathlon gold medal slip after her horse refused several times to jump over a fence, before abandoning the mission in "an absolute real-life nightmare" for the rider. With her horse refusing to cooperate, Annika Schleu is seen breaking down while riding her horse. She was 4th in Rio. Trained for 5 years to better that record. And then, this happened.

18:35 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Neeraj Chopra's chances of a Javelin medal tomorrow

Kenya's Faith Kipyegon has won the 1500m women's final with a new Olympic record.

Meanwhile, from an Indian perspective, it's set to be a huge day tomorrow. Bajrang's medal match and Neeraj Chopra's final are set to happen at around the same time tomorrow afternoon. Let us take a look at the big question on Indian Athletics fans' minds for the last two years: Can Neeraj Chopra win a medal at the Olympics?

As far as best throws go for the year 2020, Neeraj Chopra is 2nd.

Now, looking at the best throws for the year 2021, Neeraj Chopra is 4th.

Of course, Neeraj finished qualification in 1st place, a rare occurence in the Olympics for India in Athletics. The heat factor was said to be important in why both Neeraj and Pakistan's Arshad did well that day. Tomorrow, however, the final will be in the evening, in cooler conditions.

18:19 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Allyson Felix: An American legend on the track

Allyson Felix wins 400m bronze in her final Olympic Games. She ties Carl Lewis for the most medals won by an American track & field athlete! This was her 10th medal at the Games. She becomes the most decorated female athlete in the history of track & field.

18:12 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Cheptegei takes 5000m gold

World record holder Joshua Cheptegei took the gold in the gruelling men’s 5000m final at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, finishing ahead of Mohammed Ahmed of Canada, who took the silver and Paul Chelimo of United States who scoops the bronze.

Cheptegei became the first Ugandan to win the event as he bagged the Olympic gold that has eluded him for so long. Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda was in front of the pack at the 1000m mark, but his countryman Cheptegei took over the front spot midway through the race.

17:48 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Split Timings show Amoj Jacob ran sub-45 400m lap

We knew it when we saw it, and here's the split timings confirming it. Amoj Jacob was on fire on the final lap! A sub-45 lap! 44.68 for him. Arokia Rajiv with a sub-45 lap too.

17:45 (IST)06 Aug 2021
India now hold a new Asian record

The Asian record the Indian men's relay team broke was a three year old one of 3:00.56s was set by Qatar during the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. 

17:34 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Men's Relay team provide a thrill in India's Athletics campaign

It has been a great Athletics campaign for India in Tokyo 2020 so far. Kamalpreet Kaur finished 2nd in her qualification group, finishing 6th in the final. Neeraj Chopra then made history of sorts by finishing 1st in the Javelin qualifiers. His medal event is up tomorrow. For today, Priyanka Goswami walked a fine walk in the 20-km Racewalk event today.

But the India Men's relay team has probably given the most sensational performance of the day. Especially that last lap by Amoj Jacob, who brought India from the middle of the field to 4th place. Just failing to finish within 3 minutes...8th placed qualifier Belgium finished with 2:59.37, less than 1 second ahead of India.

17:17 (IST)06 Aug 2021
India smash the Asian record in Men's 4x400 Relay, finish 4th in Heat, 9th overall

Amoj Jacob makes a great run! Pulls ahead of the middle of the pack by the end! India finish 4th! What a last lap run by Amoj Jacob! India finish 4th in their heat with a time of 3:00.25. They will not make it through. But by the narrowest of margins.

With their time, India have smashed the Asian record. They finish 9th overall. Heartbreakingly missing out of the final (which will have 8 countries) by less than 1 second.

17:12 (IST)06 Aug 2021
India 6th with last lap left

Excellent lap by Anas. Have to wait for the time splits. Nirmal Noah Tom runs the 2nd lap, India in 5th place. He loses a place by the end as the hands the baton over. Arokia Rajiv, now ruinning at 6th. Holds his position. South Africa and Colombia have fallen away. Last lap now. Over to Amoj Jacob...

17:10 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Athletics: India's heat begins

India are in Lane 2. Anas will be running the first lap. Noah for the second. Arokia to run the 3rd lap. Amoj Jacob for the 4th. Here we go. South Africa with the early lead. Long way to go. It's a full 3-minute race. Anas seen making up some ground on Colombia, running from the inside.

17:03 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Athletics Relay: USA, Botswana and Trinidad and Tobago automatic qualifiers from Heat 1

A huge Heat 1! A couple of national records broken! USA, Botswana and Trinidad and Tobago are the three automatic qualifiers from Heat 1. Italy and Netherlands, 4th and 5th, will be waiting on the results of the other heats to see if they can make it as the next two fastest qualifiers.

Time for Heat 2 now. India in action. 

16:58 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Athletics Relay Heat begins

All eyes on the track now. The first heat in starting.

A look at the second heat now. Colombia, Jamaica (!), France, Belgium, Japan, Poland and South Africa are the teams in Heat 2 along with India. Going by Season Best timings, India are in 1st position. Based on national rankings though, India are 8th, only ahead of France. 

Here's looking at Mohammad Anas, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv and Nirmal Noah Tom and Pandi Naganathan. 4 of these 5 runners will be fielded by India.

16:53 (IST)06 Aug 2021
Football: Mexico win Bronze

Mexico beat Japan 3-1 to claim the bronze medal in men's football. Mexico dominated Japan ending the host nation’s hope of a first Olympic medal in 53 years with a 3-1 win.

Meanwhile, India's Athletics team will be limbering up. The first heat in the Relays are just about to get underway. Top 3 teams from the heat and the next 2 fastest (from 2 heats) will qualify for finals. 

It is the biggest dilemma for an athlete at the Olympic Games: do you lose gold or win silver?

On Thursday, Ravi Dahiya became only the sixth athlete in India's sporting history to win a silver medal at the Olympics. But when he was told to go backstage for the medal ceremony, he trudged across reluctantly. Even on the Games podium, the highest point of an athlete's career, Dahiya had the look of someone who had been forced to stand there. His glum face stood in sharp contrast to those of the other two winners as he picked up the medal from a shiny tray and wore it around his neck.

“What’s the point of this?" he asked later. “I had come here with only one target, a gold medal. This is okay, but it’s not gold.” Perhaps, Dahiya will smile when he learns of the impact his medal has already had. Haryana's Nahari, Dahiya’s village, is all set to get a brand-new indoor stadium. Of course, the wrestler didn't know that yet. He’d kept his phone switched off for several weeks, not even speaking to his parents to avoid distractions.

“But if I had won the gold medal, I’d have felt better,” he said. Dahiya bowed out in the final of the 57-kg class but not before giving a massive scare to his Russia rival and two-time world champion Zavur Uguev in the 7-4 verdict. (Read Full Story)

Ravi Dahiya, Ravi Dahiya silver medal, Ravi Dahiya Tokyo Olympics, Ravi Dahiya gold medal match, Ravi Dahiya angry Silver medallist Ravi Kumar of India poses with his medal. (Reuters Photo)

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