Tokyo Olympics: Mirabai, Saurabh, Nagal & Paddlers Headline Day 1 for India

On Day 1 of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, India opened their account with a historic Silver medal in weightlifting.

Olympic Sports
6 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Tokyo Olympics: Mirabai Chanu won a Silver medal on Saturday.</p></div>

There’s always a first for everything, and India had more than one first to register on Day 1 of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as Mirabai Chanu pocketed a historic Silver medal and tennis player Sumit Nagal picked up a win as well. For Nagal, it was India’s first win by a male Tennis player in the singles draw since Leander Paes in 1996 Atlanta, while Mirabai’s is the first Silver for an Indian woman in weightlifting and also the first time India won a medal on the first day of the Olympic Games.

On the other hand, India’s archers Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav failed to make much of an impact against the South Koreans while 19-year old Saurabh Chaudhary, who topped the qualification round in the 10m Air Pistol event, finished 7th in his final.


Among the favourites in the 49kg event, Mirabai Chanu clinched a Silver and became the first Indian to win an Olympic medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Mirabai began with two good lifts in the snatch before a brilliant first lift in the clean and jerk assured her of her eventual Silver Medal. Mirabai, ranked third in the world, had a total lift of 202kg with 87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk.

Hou Zhihui of China won the gold medal, setting a new Olympic record of 210kg. She set the record too in snatch with 94kg and 116kg in clean and jerk. Indonesia's Windy Cantika Aisah took home the silver medal with a total lift of 194 kg.

Mirabai’s medal was the first for India at the Tokyo Games and also a first silver for a female athlete from India in the sport of weightlifting. India’s last weightlifting medal came in 2000 in Sydney when Karnam Malleswari won Bronze.



While the men’s 10m Air Pistol saw one of the Indians make the final, the women’s team in the 10m Air Rifle event failed to progress from the qualifiers. Both Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan, who were part of a field of 50, finished well outside the qualification places. Elavenil finished at the 16th spot with a score of 626.5 out of a possible 654 in 60 shots, while Apurvi was 36th with a tally of 621.9 in the early hours of Saturday morning in India.

However, the luck improved a few hours later in the men’s 10m Air Pistol qualifying round with young Saurabh Chaudhary storming through the first stage and finishing top of the charts to qualify for the final. Saurabh finished with a score of 586/600 while Abhishek Verma failed to progress to the final. Abhishek finished 17th with a score of 575. India have sent their largest ever shooting contingent and will hope to break the duck sooner rather than later.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Tokyo Olympics: Sutirtha Mukherjee after winning her&nbsp; first match.&nbsp;</p></div>

Tokyo Olympics: Sutirtha Mukherjee after winning her  first match. 

Image: PTI

Table Tennis

Another of India’s largest contingents at the Olympics is in Table tennis, but like shooting the start to the campaign wasn’t they way would have liked.

Manika Batra and Sharath Kamal were up against it in their first round when they played Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-ju and Cheng I-Cheng, losing 4-0 in straight games. The duo were thoroughly outplayed by the higher ranked opposition.

However, for India, things started looking up a little in the latter stages of the day on the TT table as Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee both won their singles matches. India’s No 1 Manika defeated Great Britain's Tin-Tin Ho 4-0 and will next face Ukraine's 20th seed Margaryta Pesotska.

After that, Sutirtha, who had been banned for age fraud earlier in her career, made a thrilling Olympic debut as she stunned a higher ranked opponent. Sutirtha came from behind to clinch a win in the first round against Swedish Linda Bergstroem 5-11, 11-9, 11-13, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5. It was an hour long game that was among the most memorable for Indian fans.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The medals for the athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics</p></div>

The medals for the athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Image: PTI 


Indian men's doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy defeated the higher-ranked Chinese Taipei pair of Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin 21-16, 16-21, 27-25 in their first Group A match. However, luck wasn’t on B Sai Praneeth’s side as he was handed a shocking defeat Misha Zilberman of Israel in his Group D game.

Shetty and Rankireddy had their task cut out and produced a memorable display in what was a very tight finish in the third game. The Indians saved a match point at 24-25 in the final game before closing it out.

Sai Praneeth, the No. 13 seed, lost 17-21, 15-21 to world No 47 Zilberman. Sai Praneeth will now take on Mark Caljouw of Netherlands in his second and final group match. Only the topper from the group will progress to the Round of 16.



The Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams came to Tokyo with plenty of expectations behind them.

The men’s team kicked off their campaign with a 3-2 win against New Zealand with goalkeeper PR Sreejesh standing tall once again and making some very crucial saves to thwart the Kiwis.

However, for Rani Rampal and co it was difficult day at work as the Netherlands dismantled them with relative ease, especially in the second half, winning the game 5-1.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Indian men's hockey team during the national anthem.&nbsp;</p></div>

Indian men's hockey team during the national anthem. 

Image: PTI 


After a disappointing start to the Archery event on the morning of the Opening ceremony, India banked on debutant Pravin Jadhav and veteran Deepika Kumari for some good news in the mixed event.

India's world No.1 woman archer Deepika and Jadhav had secured a place in the quarterfinals by overcoming the Chinese Taipei pair of Lin Chia-En and Tang Chin-Chun 5-3 in the opening elimination round and then ran into the South Koreans.

South Korea, comprising An San and Kim Je Deok, won the first two sets -- 35-32, 38-37 - before the Indian pair bounced back winning the third 37-35. The Koreans then sealed the final set 36-33 with the Indians struggling to get a decent score in their four shots, eventually conceding defeat by a margin of 2-6.

It was the first ever mixed team archery event at the Olympic Games.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Tokyo Olympics: Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav during their QF.</p></div>

Tokyo Olympics: Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav during their QF.

Image: PTI -



The lone Indian judoka at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Shushila Devi Likmabam, bowed out in the opening round, pinned by Hungarian stalwart Eva Csernoviczki in the round of 32. Shushila made an early exit, losing 10-0 to 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist Eva in the 48kg category at the Nippon Budokan arena.


Rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh had a forgettable outing as the pair finished fifth in the lightweight men's double sculls heats on Saturday. The rowers will now head into the repechage round on July 25 and hope for luck to favour them. In rowing, competing in the six-crew heat on Saturday, Arjun Lal and Arvind Singh finished fifth clocking 6:40.33, paddling ahead of Uruguay's Bruno Cetraro Berriolo and Felipe Ferreira in the final 500 metres.



India's campaign in the boxing competition started on a dismal note as Vikas Krishan was stunned by Sewonrets Quincy Mensah Okazawa in the opening round of the men's 69kg. Krishan never got going as his Japanese rival maintained a steady score, getting all 10s from the five judges in the opening round. Krishan got all 9s.

Okazawa maintained his dominance as he emerged winner 5-0 on points after winning the bout on all judges' cards.

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