Rio Olympics 2016: Srikanth to face China's Lin Dan in quarter finals

Rio de Janeiro, PTI | Updated : 17 August 2016, 06:32 AM

Srikanth also showed his class when he upset higher ranked Danish rival Jan Jorgensen to become the second man from India to enter the last eight in badminton after Parupalli Kashyap in the 2012 London Games.

He too faces an arduous task in the quarterfinals against two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China, who is defending the title he won in London.

Greco-Roman wrestler Hardeep Singh was the other Indian in action on day 11 while the freestyle event, to start later, could see three men and as many women in fray.

Among them is London Games bronze winner Yogeshwar Dutt, who will take to the mat on the last day of the Games - August 21 - and Narsingh who would take part in his event on August 19, provided CAS turns down WADA’s appeal a day before his opening bout.

Narsingh was reinstated by NADA after returning a positive dope test on June 25 with the authorities accepting his version that the food or drinks he had ingested had been spiked with prohibited anabolic steroid methandienone.

Away from these two disciplines, track and field is the only other arena left for India to strike it rich but the depth and quality of the top athletes is such that they carry very slim chances of winning a medal.

Thus far, barring Lalita Babar in women’s 3000m steeplechase, it has been a dismal show by the athletes with many of them not even approaching the mark which had earned them qualification for Rio.

If India draw a blank in the Games it would be the first Olympics since 1992 in Barcelona that the country has emerged without a single medal to its name.

It has been a gradual improvement since 1996 when tennis player Leander Paes provided the country with its first individual Olympic medal after 1952 Helsinki by winning a bronze in men’s singles.

The bronze medal by woman weightlifter Karnam Malleswari in Sydney 2000 was followed by shooter Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore’s silver winning effort in Athens 2004.

These were forerunners to Abhinav Bindra becoming the first and only Indian individual gold medal winner in 2008 Beijing where wrestler Sushil Kumar and boxer Vijender Singh also won bronze medals.

Three in Beijing became six in London four years later, albeit without a gold medal to boast of, as Sushil Kumar (silver), shooters Vijay Kumar (silver) and Gagan Narang and Dutt (all bronze), among men, and shuttler Saina Nehwal and boxer M C Mary Kom, among women, climbed the medal podium.

First Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 06:23 AM

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