The successful completion of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 , postponed by a year due to COVID-19 has silenced the doubters about Japan’s ability to host the games . The rise in cases in Japan before the games began sounded alarm bells to the organisers who kept their fingers crossed. But at the end it was a job well done as hosts.
For India the mega sporting extravaganza has turned out to a be game changer of sorts . Despite the covid protocols and strict following of norms , the Indian contingent did not lose hope and finished with the best ever medals tally in the history of the Olympics. It was a spectacular show. A proof that Indian men and women despite all odds with their sheer grit, determination, will have it in them to take on the very best in the World and come out on top. The myth was broken of been unable to match the world standard.
The Indian campaign started with a bang with Mirabai Chanu from Manipur , bagging the Silver in 49 Kg weightlifting sending the country into frenzy and raising the expectations for others . The weight of expectations was evident as India had to spend some days searching for the elusive second medal. And the second medal was assured from the North East too.
After Chanu’s heroics , 23 -year -old Lovlina Borgohain from Assam’s Golaghat, carved a niche for herself in the history of Indian women’s boxing by clinching a bronze — India’s lone boxing medal at Tokyo, after hot favourite MC Mary Kom crashed out after a gallant fight .
Ace badminton player P V Sindhu, a favourite for the Gold in the absence defending champion Spaniard Carolina Marin due to injury finished with a Bronze medal. She had won Silver in Rio in 2016 . Many hoped she would better her Rio showing but it was not be as she lost in the semis. The 26- year-old nevertheless etched her name in history by winning back-to- back Olympic medals in the Olympics.
A virtually unknown wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya suddenly was in the lips of everyone as he clinched a Silver in the 57 Kg freestyle wrestling category. And finishing off the the sine show in wrestling was Bajrang Punia who powered his way to Bronze in the 65 kg free style wrestling event.
Written off by pundits for their their inconsistency, the Indian’s men’s hockey team recovered from their 7-1 rout against Australia in their group match to clinch a Bronze medal . They beat Germany in a thriller 5-4. It was India’s first medal in hockey after 41 years. The last time was in Moscow 1980 Gold. It was truly the finest moment for ardent hockey fans . Manpreet Singh and his men became the toast of the nation.
THE HEROES AT TOKYO 2020
Neeraj Chopra – Gold in Javelin throw
Mirabai Chanu – Silver in Women’s 49kg Weightlifting
Ravi Dahiya – Silver in Men’s Freestyle 57kg Wrestling
Bajrang Punia – Bronze in Men’s 65kg Freestyle Wrestling
India men’s hockey team – Bronze
Lovlina Borgohain – Bronze in Women’s Welterweight boxing
PV Sindhu – Bronze in Women’s Singles Badminton
The women’s hockey team captained by Rani Rampal nearly emulated the men’s team’s feat but unfortunately could not win the Bronze medal as they lost a titanic clash 3-4 to Great Britain. The team was in tears after the match. Their gallant show earned them kudos from all around.
Golfer Aditi Ashok from Bengaluru surprised all with her skills and narrowly missed out a medal and finished fourth. It was not only Aditi who missed the medal , Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur reached the final and finished sixth.
As the games came towards the end , India could not have hoped for a better finish when 23 -year-old – determined and muscular Javlin thrower Neeraj Chopra from Panipat , Haryana gave India it’s first Track and Field Gold Medal with his monstrous throw of 87.58m in his second attempt . Enough to clinch Gold. Thus becoming the second India after Abhinav Bindra in ( 2008) to win a individual Gold medal. The Gold by Neeraj Chopra helped India surpass the previous medals tally Of London 2012 where it won six medals .
There is no doubt we did exceptionally well at Tokyo 2020 and gives us lot of hope for a brighter future. But on the other hand one cannot just brush under the carpet the overall medal standing- India at 48th position . Country like Jamaica for example has more medals than India . 9 overall with 4 Gold Medals.
For a country that aspires to have a 5 trillion dollar economy, a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, it is pertinent that if we want to be part of the elite club them medal wise too we should aim to be on par . Just look at the medals they had won ( USA : 39 Gold, 41 Silver, 33 Bronze – 113, China : 38 Gold, 32 Silver 18 Bronze – 88, ROC ( Russian Olympic Committee) 20 Gold , 28 Silver , 23 Bronze – 71, Great Britain : 22 Gold, 21 Silver, 22 Bronze- 65, France : 10 Gold , 12 Silver , 11 Bronze – 33. These are ominous signs and ones to ponder seriously. This is as far as medals is concerned. As hosts , Japan has showcased not only to India but to the World that even during covid times it could successfully host the games . Whereas, in India , one may recall, it’s richest cricket board in the world ( BCCI) could not complete even IPL 2021. Shifting the second part to Dubai. Yes, Tokyo has showed the way , onus now is to carry on the momentum forward. Paris 2024 is the next target.