India’s last gold medal in hockey was in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. India won a silver medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics and 3 bronze medals in the 1968 games in Mexico City, 1972 Munich Olympics and the latest one being the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been special in so many ways. Held amidst the fears and uncertainties brought on by the pandemic, Tokyo 2020 was definitely one of the most challenging Olympics to date. However, despite all the odds, it was also by far the best edition of the Olympics in terms of performance and medals for India.
While we had some noteworthy performances from Indian athletes like Aditi Ashok (Golf), the Women’s Hockey team and others who left a mark in the competitions despite not winning medals, we also had our best performance in the history of India with seven medals in total this year.
India’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics medal winner
Neeraj Chopra became only the second Indian individual Olympic champion. PV Sindhu won her second Olympic medal while the men’s hockey team won an Olympic medal after 41 years.
Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu opened India’s medal account at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a silver in the women’s 49kg – her first medal at the Olympics.
It was India’s second weightlifting Olympic medal, after Karnam Malleswari’s bronze at Sydney 2000.
Here are the other Indian Olympic medallists at Tokyo 2020
Lovlina Borgohain – Bronze medal – women’s welterweight (64-69kg)
On her Games debut, Lovlina Borgohain won a bronze medal at Tokyo 2020 after losing in the semi-finals to top seed Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in the women’s 69kg.
Lovlina Borgohain had beaten Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen in the quarter-finals to assure herself of a medal.
PV Sindhu – Bronze medal – women’s singles badminton
Badminton queen PV Sindhu became the first Indian woman and only the second Indian athlete – after Sushil Kumar – to win two individual Olympic medals.
PV Sindhu beat China’s He Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 to win the bronze medal in the women’s singles.
It is India’s third confirmed medal of Tokyo 2020 – one more than their haul at Rio 2016.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya – Silver medal – men’s 57kg freestyle wrestling
Another Olympic debutant and another medal for India.
The 23-year-old Ravi Kumar Dahiya lost to twice world champion Zavur Uguev of ROC in the final of the men’s 57kg freestyle wrestling, thus ending up with a silver medal.
It was India’s ninth silver medal in Olympic history and a second silver medal in wrestling after Sushil Kumar at London 2012.
Indian hockey team – Bronze medal – men’s hockey
After a 41-year wait, the Indian men’s hockey team finally have an Olympic medal since the gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
After being 3-1 down at one point, India made a big comeback to beat Germany 5-4 and claim the bronze medal.
It is their third Olympic bronze medal – after the 1968 and 1972 Games – and their 12th Olympic medal overall. It is India’s fifth medal at Tokyo 2020.
Bajrang Punia – Bronze medal – men’s 65kg wrestling
Wrestler Bajrang Punia became the third Indian debutant to win a medal at Tokyo 2020.
Two-time Asian champion Bajrang Punia beat Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov, a World Championships silver-medallist, in the men’s 65kg freestyle wrestling playoff to claim the bronze medal.
Women’s power at Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo Olympics, slated to begin from July 23, promises to be the first gender-balanced Games in Olympic history and is looking forward to equal participation from both men and women. Set to make a mark, female sportswomen are finally making space for themselves in what was historically a male-crowded affair, and the Tokyo Olympics are expected to see a whopping 49% turnout of competing female athletes.
Going into the Tokyo Games, India is gearing up to send a strong contingent this time and have already accumulated 52 women so far on the list of qualified female athletes for the Games. What’s special however is that this 52 – which promises to expand in the coming days with withdrawals taking place – is not any ordinary tribe of women. Rather, with athletes like Deepika Kumari, Manu Bhaker, Vinesh Phogat, PV Sindhu, Mirabai Chanu in the heady mix, the Tokyo Olympics will see the Indian contingent rely heavily on the powerful women touted to claim glory at the Games.
While the world fought its own battle for gender equality at the Olympics, India struggled with their own, as well. Yet the times have certainly changed for the better as the decades passed – from PT Usha to Karnam Malleswari, a Sania Mirza to a Geeta Phogat or a Sakshi Malik or a Saina Nehwal to a PV Sindhu or Mary Kom – Indian women have been creating their own history at the Olympics and has successfully broken the glass ceiling.
In a country, predominantly rife with discrimination meted out towards the female gender, sports acts as a medium where the lines can be easily blurred. Being liberating in its very construct – sports, with its own language, has its own way of integrating people, without pausing to look at the gender, as such. However, the societal framework is rarely that considerate and historically, females, especially in India, have had to bear the brunt of many such gendered biases being exercised against them.