Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, India’s star weightlifter, stole the show on Day One of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, as she opened India’s medal tally with a silver in the Women’s 49kg category on Saturday.
Chanu lifted a total of 202 kilogrammes (87 kilogrammes in snatch and 115 kilogrammes in clean and jerk) across her four successful attempts.
In the team events, carrying the hopes of an entire nation to end a 41-year Olympic medal drought, the Indian men’s hockey team got off to a flying start in their group stage campaign with a 3-2 victory over New Zealand in a match that went down to the wire.
It was veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh who saved the day for India with outstanding goalpost work to deny New Zealand an equaliser in the dying minutes of the match.
Additionally, India’s Sumit Nagal advanced to the second round of the men’s singles. On Saturday, Nagal defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 in the men’s singles first round.
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy also won their opening Group Stage match in badminton.
In table tennis, star player Manika Batra cruised past Tin-Tin Ho of Britain to advance to the women’s singles round.
Sutirtha Mukherjee of table tennis won her opening game in the women’s singles event.
However, India’s mixed doubles table tennis pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika were eliminated in the first round following an 0-4 loss.
Saurabh Chaudhary, a youngster, also fell short in the finals of the men’s 10m air rifle event at the Tokyo Olympics, finishing seventh.
Another heartbreak came when the Indian rowing pair of Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh failed to qualify for the lightweight Men’s Double Sculls semi-final A/B.
Additionally, India’s mixed team of Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav lost in the Archery Mixed Team quarter-finals.
Elavenil Valarivan and Apurvi Chandela both failed to qualify for the medal round in the women’s 10m air rifle qualification, finishing 16th and 36th, respectively.
Vikas Krishnan, 29, lost his round of 32 match in the men’s welterweight boxing event this afternoon, and as a result, he has withdrawn from the mega event.
India had a chance to end Day One on a high note, but the women’s hockey team battled valiantly against the World No. 1 Netherlands team in their opening match before succumbing on Saturday.
The Netherlands took the lead in the sixth minute with an early goal. India, however, fought back and levelled the score in the tenth minute.
Following a scoreless second quarter, the Netherlands seized control of the match, scoring four goals in the second half to secure a 5-1 victory.