India at Tokyo 2020

After a wait of five years, the biggest sporting festival, the Olympics opened the door to its 2020 edition on 23rd July 2021 after getting postponed for the first time in Olympic history last year (they have been canceled in the past but not rescheduled) due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The games brought a sigh of relief from the tension and boredom Covid made us face. The best talents around the globe coming to compete on this global platform, Olympics is definitely an amazing event to look for.

Held in Tokyo, Japan, the games saw the participation of 250 countries as well as the IOC Refugee Olympic Team which is the team composed of athletes who are supported by the IOC’s Olympic Scholarships for Refugee Athletes program and currently reside and train across 13 host nations.

This edition of Olympics consisted of 33 sports which included some newly added ones such as Skateboarding, Sport Climbing, Karate, Surfing, and also the addition of various sub-events within a particular sport like 3x3 Basketball, Freestyle BMX, and also mixed-gender team events. Apart from the newbies, the Japanese Olympic Committee also added baseball and softball to this edition.

The biggest contingent was brought by the United States who also topped the medal tally with a total of 113 medals.

Our nation India took her biggest ever Olympic Contingent of 127 this time and finished with her highest ever Medal Tally of a total of 7 medals (1 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 Bronze) at the big games.

HISTORY HAS BEEN CREATED, the 4 words which we started listening to from the first day to the end of Tokyo 2020.

Video by The Power of Poetry

Though the games were delayed by one year, our first medal didn’t keep us waiting. Mirabai Chanu made the flag go up on the first day of the games itself by winning Silver in Weightlifting (Women’s 49 kg). She became the first Indian to win Silver in Weightlifting and also, only second after Karnam Malleswari to win a medal in the sport for India.

The next Silver was bagged by Ravi Kumar Dahiya in Wrestling (Men’s Freestyle 57 kg). He was trailing by 2–9 in the Semi-finals but with his fierce determination he manages to convert the trail into a berth to the Final though he couldn’t get to Gold, but his performance in his first Olympics was exceptional.

India’s Smash Queen, PV Sindhu didn’t let the nation’s hope go down by winning the Bronze Medal in Badminton (Women’s Singles). She remained unbeaten throughout the race to the Semi-final where she lost to Tai Tzu- Ying of Chinese Taipei but this didn’t let her hopes down and an inspiration to many, Sindhu achieved the Bronze Medal becoming the second Indian after Sushil Kumar and the first Indian woman to win two Olympic Medals and that too in her consecutive Olympics.

The next Bronze Medallists are the History Creator. 41 years of wait and finally, they did it. It is the Men’s Hockey Team. The way they played made every Indian feel the Chak de India moment again. This team ended our 41 years wait for a medal in Hockey at the Olympics.

Following the steps great Mary Kom, our next bronze medal came from Boxing (Women’s Welter 64–69 Kg). Bagged by Lovlina Borghoin in her first-ever Olympics, this medal was also a very special one.

The recipient of our fourth bronze medal was Bajrang Punia who fulfilled India’s hope of a medal from him. He got the medal in wrestling (Men’s Freestyle 65 Kg).

Last but the greatest of all, the history creator, the one who made India weepy with pride. This hero is independent India’s first Olympic athletic Medallist, our Javelin Thrower, Subedar Neeraj Chopra who made the tricolor go high with his Gold. India’s national anthem is being played at the Olympics. Oh! The goosebumps we got, and that proud feeling are beyond expression. He dedicated his medal to the legendary Milkha Singh Ji whose last wish was to see an Indian winning a medal in Athletics at the Olympics.

Though these were the seven Proud Indians who made it to the podium, it won’t be right from my end if I don’t mention some others who performed exceptionally well but were left out on a medal by just a tiny bit.

Firstly, the women’s hockey team. Such an amazing performance by them. They deserve a lot of appreciation for reaching the top 4. A team which has qualified for the Olympics just thrice till now, making it to the end is in itself a celebrating moment and what is more special is they defeated one of the top known teams of Australia. These girls are #BharatkiSherniya

Then, comes the girl who made India learn a new sport, one who made India wake up early in the morning that too on a Saturday. She is Aditi Ashok who finished fourth in Women’s Golf. This pride of India made every Indian feel proud of where she reached in a sport rarely talked about here.

Next up, is from the sport Equestrian. Another sport which we haven’t heard of much and Fouaad Mirza reaching the final of it was indeed an amazing moment.

Following them is our men’s 4 x 400 m relay team. Another one who finished fourth in their heat, failing to qualify for the finals but marking India’s one of the best track and field performances and most importantly, creating an Asian Record.

Another pair that couldn’t make it to the qualifiers by just a matter of one set was the men’s double pair of Badminton. They are playing their first Olympics, did their level best, so well that they beat the pair which became the champion of Men’s Double category. They deserve much appreciation.

This is still not all, Manika Batra became the first Indian to reach round 3 of Table Tennis at the big games, Sumit Nagpal won India’s first-ever Olympic Singles match after 25 years, Kamalpreet Kaur reached the finals of Discus Throw by finishing second in the qualification round.

Thus, the Indian Olympic Contingent gave India, the reason to celebrate, the reason to be proud of, and moreover, the moment to #cheer4India

Congratulations to each and every Indian Olympian!

Poem by The Power of Poetry