Rio de Janeiro: Gymnast Dipa Karmakar was the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal day for India at Rio Olympics on Day 9, as most of the big stars in fray crashed out of the mega event, further diminishing India’s hope of winning a medal in the 2016 Olympics.
Dipa, who had earlier become the first Indian athlete to reach a vault final, once again came up with an exemplary performance in the finals and finished fourth, winning a million hearts the world over. Considering that this was her first Olympics and the lack of resources and facilities under which she trained back home, this surely is a laudable achievement.
Others bright spots on Day 9 came in the form of shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and PV Sindhu, who won their respective matches to reach the pre-quarters. Srikanth defeated Henri Hurskainen of Sweden 21-6, 21-18 in his group H preliminaries match, while in Group M women’s singles, Sindhu got the better of Glasgow Commonwealth Games champion Li Michelle a 19-21 21-15 21-17in 72 minutes.
However, India was in for a shock when India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal suffered shocking defeat 21-18, 21-19 in the hands of a much lower-ranked Ukrainian Maria Ulitina.
Adding to woes, the mixed doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna lost their bronze medal match (6-1, 7-5) to Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka and Radek Stepanek.
The Indian men’s hockey team too came out a cropper against Belgium and ended their campaign in the quarterfinal with a 1-3 defeat.
Meanwhile, Gagan Narang and Chain Singh yet again failed to impress they could not qualify for the final round of the men`s 50 metre Rifle event. There was bad news for the boxing ring as well as Manoj Kumar crashed out with a 0-3 loss to Fazliddin Gaibnazarov of Uzbekistan in the men`s Light Welterweight (64kg) category.
OP Jaisha, meanwhile, finished at a dismal 89th spot in the women`s marathon, while Kavita Raut finished performed even worse with a 120th position finish.
Meanwhile, in golf, SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri had an unforgettable experience as they finished at 50th and 57th position respectively.