Success story of the 8th day at Tokyo was undoubtedly the women’s hockey team and Kamalpreet. Indian women’s hockey team defeated South Africa 4-3 yesterday. In the other group match defending champions Great Britain defeated Ireland 2-0. That result left India fourth in the group, and set them up for a clash against Australia on Monday in Quarter finals. The Indian women last made the quarters of an Olympics in 1980 Moscow edition, where it finished fourth. In the 2016 Rio edition, the team had ended 12th.
In a tweet, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Anurag Thakur congratulated the team. He said it is a defining moment for women’s hockey in India. Highlight of the previous day was superb performance by Kamalpreet Kaur in Discus throw. With a throw of 64m, she was only the second athlete among 31 others to book a final berth via automatic qualification. Other athlete was American Valarie Allman with a throw of 66.42m. Kamalpreet will be in action on Monday in the final of women’s discus throw event at the Tokyo Olympics. The 25-year-old has a chance to become the first Indian female to win a medal in athletics at the Olympics.
But barring this, it was a largely disappointing day for India with Panghal’s pre-quarterfinal exit being the biggest low point. Panghal was handed a stunning 1-4 loss by Rio Games silver-medallist Yuberjen Martinez. He was beaten by the Colombian’s relentless attacks and pace in a draining pre-quarterfinal bout during which he looked exhausted after the opening round itself. Another boxer Pooja Rani (75kg) went down 0-5 in her quarterfinal bout against China’s Li Qian. Qian, who is a former world champion and a Rio Olympics bronze-medallist, thoroughly outpunched Rani in the quarterfinals.
P V Sindhu loss was another heartbreak for India. She slumped to a straight-game defeat against world no.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the women’s singles semifinals. The 26-year-old silver-medallist from the Rio Games, will now compete against China’s He Bing Jiao in the third place play-off at Musashino Forest Plaza todat evening. Shooters Anjum Moudgil and Tejaswini Sawant failed to make the finals of the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions event, settling for the 15th and 33rd position respectively.