Day 13 of the Rio Olympics 2016 was India's best so far, with PV Sindhu reaching the final of the badminton women's singles, ensuring the best possible finish for an Indian woman at the Games. However, the delight was tempered by the news that wrestler Narsingh Yadav, who has been battling a doping scandal, has been banned by WADA for four years.
Here's a recap of how India fared on day 13 of Rio Olympics 2016.
Shuttler PV Sindhu scripted history when she stormed into the final of badminton women's singles event, ensuring either a silver or gold medal for India in Rio.
Sindhu, who on Wednesday defeated World No 2 Wang Yihan, continued with her giant-killing spree as she made light work of the Japanese to register a 21-19, 21-10 triumph in the semi-finals and become the first Indian shuttler to enter the final of the Olympics.
Sindhu defeated the third-seeded Japanese rival, who is also the current All England champion, 21-19 21-10 in 49 minutes with superb, attacking play.
Sindhu's sharp cross-court game and half smash helped her get off to a fine start as she took the first game 21-19. In the second game, Sindhu turned more aggressive and played a fearless game to stun the Japanese who looked short of ideas.
The 21-year-old Hyderabadi kept earning points, hitting one smash after another to enjoy a comfortable ride. As many as 10 points on the trot catapulted her to the final with a 21-10 win in the second game. At the mid-game interval Sindhu led 11-10, and after the break, she stepped on the pedal and earned as many as 10 points on the trot. Hitting one smash after another to enjoy a comfortable ride
Sindhu has now gone one better than her senior Saina Nehwal, who won the bronze medal in London four years ago, and became the first ever Indian to enter a badminton final at the Games.
The Indian shuttler from Hyderabad, a two-time bronze medallist in World Championships, will meet Spain's World No one Carolina Marin, who ousted defending champion Li Xuerei of China in the first semi-final with a 21-14 21-16 victory, in the final.
Sindhu warned the top seed that her best is yet to come. "Of course, I am yet to give my best. That's in the next game. I will definitely make the wish of our country people for gold come true. I will play my heart out," Sindhu told reporters.
Aditi Ashok continued to impress as she carded a second straight three-under 68 to be tied eighth after the second round of the women's golf event.
The 18-year-old got off to a flying start on Thursday after getting a birdie on the par-five first hole before getting two more birdies on the par-three fourth and par-four ninth holes till the halfway mark. In the back nine, she bogeyed the par-five 10th hole before picking her again with consecutive birdies on the 15th and 16th hole. However, a bogey on the par-five 18th hole again gave her a 68 that took her total to six-under 136. She shared the eighth position with four other golfers.
The Indian golfer is four strokes behind leader South Korean Inbee Park, who carded a second straight 66 to sit at the top.
Babita Kumari lost her opening women's 53 kg category wrestling bout 1-5 against Maria Prevolaraki of Greece and was eliminated from the Games.
Much was expected of Babita, winner of two medals in past Commonwealth Games and bronze medallist in the World Championship in 2012, when she got on the mat a day after teammate Sakshi Malik's historic first medal in women's wrestling.
But the 26-year-old grappler could not succeed against the tight defense put up by her Greek rival and lost points in both the periods of their pre-quarter final bout
Babita struggled to find her feet in the first period after being pushed out of the safety zone and then the Greek wrestler took another two points to extend the lead further to 3-0. The 26-year-old Indian managed to bag a point in the second period as Maria failed to make the most of the 30-second advantage. Babita once again went for aggressive play but Maria turned it around to add two more to her score. From then on, things started slipping from the Indian's hands as Maria displayed great defensive skills to hold on and beat the Indian 5-1.
And when Maria Prevolaraki too lost her quarter-final bout against Venezuela's Betzabeth Angelica Arguello Villegas 3-6, it spelt curtains for the Indian's slim hopes of replicating Sakshi and win a bronze through the repechage process.
The ended in a reversal of fortunes for India, as Narsingh's contentious road to Rio came to an end. The wrestler ousted from the Games and slapped with a four-year ban for flunking a dope test after Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) overturned the clean chit given to him by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had appealed against the NADA all-clear to Narsingh at CAS, three days ahead of his scheduled opening bout at the Olympics. "...Narsingh Yadav was sanctioned with a four-year ineligibility period starting today and that any period of provisional suspension or ineligibility effectively served by the athlete before the entry into force of this award shall be credited against the total period of ineligibility to be served," CAS said in a statement after the hearing, which lasted four hours last night.
"The CAS Panel did not accept the argument of the athlete that he was the victim of sabotage and noted that there was no evidence that he bore no fault, nor that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional. Therefore the standard 4-year period of ineligibility was imposed by the Panel," it added.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Aug 19, 2016 08:37 am | Updated Date: Aug 19, 2016 08:37 am