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Monday, April 22, 2024

A Gold In Making History

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The Tokyo Olympics have finally come to a flourishing end and India’s golden finish at the Games has brought a fresh wave of colours in the entire country that was otherwise recovering from a raging pandemic. But with the numerous superlatives that have been created in these 17 days, the Tokyo Olympics are easily UPSC aspirants’ worst nightmare!

A Gold In Making History - #AditiAshok, #BajrangPunia, #BhavaniDevi, #Gold, #IndiaAtOlympics, #LovlinaBorgohain, #MirabaiChanu, #NeerajChopra, #PVSindhu, #RaviKumarDahiya, #TokyoOlympics, hockey, tokyo2020
source: Getty-Images

History was created even before India’s Olympic campaign started in Tokyo when a total of 127 athletes qualified for the Games. With a contingent of over 200 members, the country’s team for Tokyo 2020 was officially India’s largest ever to set sail for the Games. With crowned epitomes like archer Deepika Kumari, star player PV Sindhu and shooter Elavenil Valarivan, the team also featured an unprecedented six World Champions. And unsurprisingly, this Olympics was also witness to India’s best ever medal shower with a total of seven finishes.

This season saw Saikhom Mirabai Chanu bag India her first medal on the very first day of the events when she not only lifted a total of 202 kg in the women’s 49 kg category, but also lifted the country’s spirit by giving a perfect start to the Games.

 

[one_half]A Gold In Making History - #AditiAshok, #BajrangPunia, #BhavaniDevi, #Gold, #IndiaAtOlympics, #LovlinaBorgohain, #MirabaiChanu, #NeerajChopra, #PVSindhu, #RaviKumarDahiya, #TokyoOlympics, hockey, tokyo2020[/one_half][one_half_last]A Gold In Making History - #AditiAshok, #BajrangPunia, #BhavaniDevi, #Gold, #IndiaAtOlympics, #LovlinaBorgohain, #MirabaiChanu, #NeerajChopra, #PVSindhu, #RaviKumarDahiya, #TokyoOlympics, hockey, tokyo2020[/one_half_last]

 

In yet another moment to remember forever, shuttler Pusarla Venkata Sindhu became India’s first woman to clinch two Olympic medals. The 26 year old, who had earlier finished with a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, won a bronze at Tokyo naming herself as the second ever Indian to have won two Olympic medals.

Beat by reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli, Lovlina Borgohain bought India her third Tokyo Olympic medal by becoming India’s third pugilist to make it to the Olympic podium. Interestingly, the Indian contingent this season also featured nine pugilists which is in itself a record. Astoundingly, in a feat of sheer women empowerment, the first three medals of the season were all bagged by three brilliant daughters of Maa Bharti.

A Gold In Making History - #AditiAshok, #BajrangPunia, #BhavaniDevi, #Gold, #IndiaAtOlympics, #LovlinaBorgohain, #MirabaiChanu, #NeerajChopra, #PVSindhu, #RaviKumarDahiya, #TokyoOlympics, hockey, tokyo2020

A prime reason why the Tokyo Olympics holds major significance in India’s sporting history is what can be called the revival of Indian Hockey. With the glorious rise of the players in blue, the thing that missed no one’s eyes was the bold letters in which ‘Odisha’ was splashed on their jerseys. When the state’s government with CM Naveen Patnaik at helm, had become the first to sponsor a national team in 2018, perhaps no one had imagined the importance the move might hold. But Tokyo Olympics have proved that it was indeed worth it. From the magnificent entry of both the men’s and the women’s team into the semi finals to the moment when 41 years of wait finally ceased with the men’s team finishing at the third place, the resurrection of the hockey spirit has been particularly overwhelming.

A Gold In Making History - #AditiAshok, #BajrangPunia, #BhavaniDevi, #Gold, #IndiaAtOlympics, #LovlinaBorgohain, #MirabaiChanu, #NeerajChopra, #PVSindhu, #RaviKumarDahiya, #TokyoOlympics, hockey, tokyo2020

In a stellar performance in the finals of what was his debut Olympics campaign, Ravi Kumar Dahiya also became a part of this history making endeavour when he became the second wrestler in Indian history to clinch an Olympic silver medal. Reigning champion in his category, Bajrang Punia, who led India out in the closing ceremony, also shared a similar glory after winning a bronze medal in the wrestling freestyle 65 kg.

Another page in history was added when, in artistic gymnastics, Pranati Nayak became only the second Indian woman gymnast to participate in the Olympics after Dipa Karmakar. Swimmers Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj also west down the pages of history on becoming the first Indian swimmers to have achieved an ‘A’ level Olympic Qualification Time. Sajan Prakash also became the first ever Indian swimmer to earn a direct Olympic qualification. History was also created when Fouaad Hyder Mirza became only the third Indian equestrian after Indrajit Lamba and Imtiaz Anees to secure an individual spot in an event at the Olympics.

Another superlative was created when athlete Kamalpreet Kaur became the first Indian woman to breach the 65 m barrier in discus throw. Although she finished 6th and could not make it to the podium, Kamalpreet surely broke barriers for a bright tomorrow in the said event.

Yet another historical feat was when Chandavala Anandha Bhavani Devi not only became the first ever sabre fencer to represent India at the international platform but also won India’s first ever fencing match in Olympic history by defeating Tunisia’s Nadia Ben Azizi in a remarkable fight. Even though she could not make it large, the spine of steel that Bhavani Devi showcased, by venturing into the world of a sport not known widely enough in her country, shall continue to inspire people to pick up sabres for years to come.

A Gold In Making History - #AditiAshok, #BajrangPunia, #BhavaniDevi, #Gold, #IndiaAtOlympics, #LovlinaBorgohain, #MirabaiChanu, #NeerajChopra, #PVSindhu, #RaviKumarDahiya, #TokyoOlympics, hockey, tokyo2020

A similar feat was achieved by Nethra Kumanan, when she turned an overnight sensation by qualifying for the Games as the first ever woman sailor from India. The first Indian woman to have won India a medal at the Sailing World Cup, Nethra could not succeed in the Olympics. But she definitely kindled an interest for the art of sailing in the hearts of millions of young girls in the country. This was also the first time India competed in more than one sailing event.

In yet another historical moment, Aditi Ashok, who was also the first ever golfer to represent India at an international level in her debut Rio Olympics, finished fourth in Tokyo after putting up a admirably tough fight. Interestingly, while her caddie at Rio was none else but her father, the role this year was played by her mother. The 23 year old who has single handedly managed to compel India’s youth, many of whom did not have the remotest idea about golf, into taking an interest in the sport fell agonisingly short of a podium finish by the narrowest possible margin of one shot. Irrespective of that, Aditi is a winner in the eyes of every youngster who has now resorted to search engines to find the difference between birdies and bogeys.

A Gold In Making History - #AditiAshok, #BajrangPunia, #BhavaniDevi, #Gold, #IndiaAtOlympics, #LovlinaBorgohain, #MirabaiChanu, #NeerajChopra, #PVSindhu, #RaviKumarDahiya, #TokyoOlympics, hockey, tokyo2020

But way beyond these achievements is India’s best reason to celebrate the Tokyo Olympics.

     “Dono or likha ho Bharat, sikka wohi uchhala jaye.

      Tu bhi hai Rana ka vanshaj, pheynk jahan tak bhala jaye!”

 

When poet Wahid Ali ‘Wahid’ had penned these lines, he had not pictured that it would a javelin after all that would fulfil India’s patient wait for an Olympics medal in athletics. With a brilliant throw of 87.58 m, Neeraj Chopra became India’s second ever individual, after shooter Abhinav Bindra, and first track and field athlete to win an Olympics gold medal. A Vishist Seva Medallist, Subedar Neeraj Chopra of the 4 Rajputana Rifles put an end to the nation’s long standing anticipation and finally brought about the historic moment when India’s National Anthem was heard being played at the Olympic podium. Be it the tears that flooded his eyes witnessing the historic instance of the Tricolour being flown highest in the Olympic podium or his devoted adherence to the flag code, Neeraj continued to win the hearts of millions of countrymen even after he had officially become India’s youngest ever gold medallist. Neeraj’s roar at the end of the Games was undoubtedly mirrored by Indians all across the globe.

A Gold In Making History - #AditiAshok, #BajrangPunia, #BhavaniDevi, #Gold, #IndiaAtOlympics, #LovlinaBorgohain, #MirabaiChanu, #NeerajChopra, #PVSindhu, #RaviKumarDahiya, #TokyoOlympics, hockey, tokyo2020

With so many feathers added to the cap, the Indian contingent’s campaign in Tokyo was what can rightfully be called the country’s best Olympic endeavour. Yes, India is still miles away from the top spot in the Games, but with this season’s unprecedented success, India is closer than ever to this goal. Tokyo 2020 has, by all means, made way for India’s stunning performance in the 2024 Paris, 2028 Los Angeles and the numerous other Olympics to come.

 [author title=”Megha Satapathy” image=”http://goachronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/IMG_20210205_095950.jpg”]Journalist, Goa Chronicle

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Megha Satapathy
Megha Satapathy
"An orator, musician, bibliophile, and above all a nationalist. At 17, the author believes that anyone can make a difference in the universe, if they are daring enough!"

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