India finished 48th in terms of overall medals won at the Tokyo Olympics which is the highest ranking in more than four decades. If the rankings were to count the overall medals won, India would have finished 33rd. However, the ranking system is based on the number of gold medals as opposed to the total number of medals. The previous best was Beijing in 2008 where India ranked 51st after claiming three medals, including the gold medal from Abhinav Bindra.
In London 2012, India managed to finish 57th in terms of overall medals even though there were more medals when compared to Beijing. This is because the medals ranking system ranks countries by Bronze, Silver, and Gold and India failed to claim a gold medal in London 2012. During Rio 2016, India only claimed two medals which brought the ranking down to 67th. Since then, it’s gone up by 20 places which is a huge improvement for the country and its athletes.
With 4 bronze medals, 2 silver medals, and 1 gold medal, India produced the best medal tally and the most superb performance during the Tokyo Olympics. Let’s take a closer look at the women and men who made India extremely proud and who provided the nation with loads to cheer about.
The Tokyo Olympics had better records and bigger names. However, while most fell to the immense pressure of the Games, Neeraj Chopra reveled and relished in the moment. After his golden throw in javelin, millions of spectators become emotional while hearing the national anthem for the first time at the Olympics since Beijing in 2008. The 23-year old from the Haryana Panipat district provided a fitting climax to his own story, who started competing in the sport to lose weight. He overcame loads of injuries to eventually give India the best moment on the biggest stage in the world.
A lot was expected from Mirabai Chanu during Rio 2016. However, she failed to make a single clean lift and flopped on the biggest stage. The pressure was just as intense to deliver in Tokyo 2020. However, the 26-year-old made light work of the heavy weights thanks to her coach Vijay Sharma, claiming silver in the 49kg category. Nothing is more satisfying for a woman who lifted logs to fuel the fire during winter as a child.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya was ranked number 4 in the world. However, prior to the Tokyo Olympics, none of the focus was on the wrestling star. The 23-year-old produced a remarkable performance of endurance and audacity while trailing 2-9 in the semi-finals against Nurislam Sanayev. He also fought like a champion in the finals but couldn’t defeat his opponent, earning a silver medal for his efforts as a debutant.
None of the men’s field hockey athletes were born when the country last won a gold medal at the Olympics in field hockey. However, nothing could stop them from reaching the podium to claim a bronze medal for their efforts. The biggest match was the game against Germany where they triumphed 5-4.
PV Sindhu looked below her best during the early stages of the Olympics. However, like a finely-tuned machine, she managed to hit the right notes as the tournament unfolded. She added a second Olympic medal to her tally after defeating He Bing Jiao from China in a brilliant bronze medal playoff that will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Lovlina Borgohain couldn’t fully prepare for the Olympics due to covid-19. However, she tried to make the best of the situation and worked in the fields to improve her fitness. During the Tokyo Olympics, she showed everyone that she could box with the best and got herself a bronze medal for her efforts in the process.
Bajrang Punia entered the Olympics with a knee injury and his opponents were well aware of this too. However, during the battle for a bronze medal, the wrestling star produced an incredible performance against Daulet Niyazbekov from Kazakhstan. The score line was 8-0 at the end which tells you everything about his performance in Tokyo.