September 2021
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Tokyo Olympics: Badminton star P V Sindhu scripts history on Super Sunday
Tokyo: Reigning world champion P V Sindhu on Sunday became India’s first woman to win two Olympic medals, comfortably securing a bronze in the badminton women’s singles third-place play-off. The men’s hockey team delivered a historic win soon afterwards, advancing to the Olympics for the first time in 49 years and capping off a Super Sunday for India in Tokyo.

Sindhu, who has returned with medals from each of the big-ticket events such as the Commonwealth and Asian Games and the BWF World Tour Finals in the last five years, outwitted eighth seed He Bing Jiao of China 21-13 21-15. She had won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games.

“It makes me feel really happy because I’ve worked hard for so many years. I had a lot of emotions going through me — should I be happy that I won bronze or sad that I lost the opportunity to play in the final?” the 26-year-old said after the match.

“But overall, I had to close off my emotions for this one match and give it my best, my all and (then) think about the emotions. I’m really happy and I think I’ve done really well. It’s a proud moment getting a medal for my country.”

Wrestler Sushil Kumar is the first and only other Indian to win two Olympic medals, following up his bronze at 2008 Beijing with a silver at the 2012 London edition.

Sindhu also became only the fourth player to win two consecutive medals in women’s badminton singles across Olympic history.

Up against an opponent, who had beaten her nine times so far in the last 15 meetings, Sindhu showed great determination to outplay Bing Jiao with her aggression to scoop India’s third medal at Tokyo.

Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu opened India’s account with a silver, while boxer Lovlina Borgohain is assured of at least a bronze so far.

Sindhu’s win set off celebrations across India, with politicians, sports icons and other celebrities, and fans hailing the world-conquering athlete on social media. President Ram Nath Kovind lauded her for setting “a new yardstick of consistency, dedication and excellence” while Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed her as “one of our most outstanding Olympians”.

In hockey, the men’s team is within touching distance of a medal that has proved elusive for over four decades.

The eight-time former Olympic champions scored three field goals through Dilpreet Singh (7th minute), Gurjant Singh (16th) and Hardik Singh (57th) to seal the win. Great Britain’s lone goal was scored by Sam Ward from a penalty corner in the 45th minute.

India will take on world champions Belgium in the semifinal on Tuesday.

India’s last Olympic gold in hockey came way back in the 1980 Moscow Games, but there were no semifinals in that edition as only six teams took part in the event.

For a country that gave the world stalwarts like Major Dhyan Chand and Balbir Singh Senior among others, it has been especially painful to watch the hockey teams’ Olympic debacles before this edition.

The last time India featured in the semifinals of the Olympics was in 1972 in Munich where they lost 0-2 to arch-rivals Pakistan.

Belgium defeated Spain 3-1 in another quarterfinal to seal their place in the last four round. The other men’s hockey semifinal will be played between Australia and Germany.

In boxing, a badly bruised Satish Kumar (+91kg) put up a gutsy performance against reigning world champion Bakhodir Jalolov but it was not enough to upstage the rampaging Uzbek as the Indian boxer made a quarterfinal exit.

Taking the ring with multiple stitches on his forehead and chin after sustaining cuts in the pre-quarters, Kumar lost 0-5 but the scoreline did not reflect his brave fight.

The two-time Asian Games bronze-winner and multiple-time national ch­a­­mpion had scripted hist­ory by just qualifying for the Games as he was the first Indian super heavyweight to achieve the feat.

Meanwhile, golfers Anirban Lahiri and Udayan Mane finished 42nd and 56th at the end of men’s individual stroke play event, and in equestrian Fouaad Mirza finished 22nd after the cross-country round in individual eventing.

A good round in the individual show jumping qualifier on Monday will ensure that Mirza, India's only equestrian at the Olympics in over two decades, and his horse Seigneur Medicott, remain in the top 25 and make the eventing individual jumping final in the evening.

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Cong attacks Yogi govt on year of Hathras incident
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