Check out tomorrow's line-up of events for Team India:
As you can see already, it's going to be a busy day for the Indian contingent. Our Woman Friday will join you in the wee hours with her updates from Tokyo. Until then, stay home, stay safe and continue to cheer for India. This is Jayaa signing off. Good luck … 'Tanoshinde ne!'
PV Sindhu vs Mia Blichfeldt
Men's hockey: India vs Argentina
Men's archery: Atanu Das vs Oh Jin-Hyek
Boxing: Satish Kumar vs Ricardo Brown
Last but not least, Manipur CM N. Biren Singh lauding boxing legend Mary Kom for her bout against Ingrit Valencia:
"I don't know what to say, can't believe such a decision was made," says a disappointed Mary Kom:
Meanwhile, Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Law and Justice, has shown his support for the pugilist and penned a heartwarming tweet:
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur wrote:
Silver medalist Mirabai Chanu chimed in:
Good news for golf fans:
Sajan Prakash finishes 2nd with a timing of 53.45s in Men's 100m Butterfly Heats - 2. Great effort.
It was a close fight! All five judges had different points to give the pugilists in all the three rounds. While three judges rule in favour of Ingrit, two judges rule in favour of Mary. Magnificent Mary has crashed out of the Round of 16.
Mary looks to be dominating. Another split round. Three judges award Round 2 to Mary. Two award it to Ingrit.
Both boxers land solid blows in the first three minutes. Four referees awarded Round 1 to the Ingrit, while one judge awarded the round to Mary.
Mary Kom vs Ingrit Valencia. Ingrit enters the ring in red and looks super excited. Mary Kom, in blue, enters the ring next. Both pugilists wear their helmets and get their headgear on. The bell rings. Round 1 begins.
The boxing bout is set to start. All eyes on Mary Kom. All prayers and blessings on-board. But I'm sure you've planned your schedule well in advance so you could watch this match ;-)
Six-time World Champion Mary Kom will face a familiar opponent in the Round of 16 at the Olympics today. She will be up against Colombian pugilist Ingrit Valencia, who won Bronze at Rio Olympics 2016. The two last faced each other in the quarterfinals of the 2019 World Boxing Championships in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Kokugikan Arena is where the boxing match is set to happen. It is also known as Ryogoku Kokugikan and Ryogoku Sumo Hall, and is mainly used for sumo tournaments. During the Olympics, boxing matches are held here.
The unique interior of the indoor arena is shaped like a bowl so as to allow spectators to get a clear view of the bouts in the centre of the auditorium no matter where they are seated.
The next sport lined up for the Indian contingent is boxing at 3:36pm. Mary Kom wil face Colombia's Ingrit Lorena Valencia Victoria in the preliminary Round of 16, flyweight (51kg) category.
The last event scheduled for today is swimming, at 4:16pm, where Sajan Prakash will showcase his skills in the 100m Men's Butterfly Heats - 2.
Udayan Mane and Anirban Lahiri kicked off India's golf campaign at the Olympics to a good start. However, play has been suspended in the area due to bad weather. All the players have been advised to stay in a shelter until further notice.
Perhaps the biggest result of the day so far, given the odds against him, was Atanu Das's win over Olympic champion Jin-Hyek Oh of South Korea in the Men’s Individual Round of 32.
The Indian archer already started the day on a high, after downing Olympic silver medallist Chinese Taipei’s Yu-Cheng Deng 6-4 in the Round of 64. The draw wasn't kind to him, as up next was the Korean, who had won gold at London 2012 and already beat Atanu and team en route to the Men’s Team gold earlier in Tokyo 2020. The World Champion also has a men’s team bronze from London 2012.
But Atanu, egged on by wife and fellow qualifier Deepika Kumari, stood firm under pressure and shot a 10 in the shoot-off to cause an upset - and finally have a Korean archer taste defeat!
After Tarundeep Rai's shoot-off heartbreak and Pravin Jadhav's valiant loss yesterday, the married couple are carrying India's archery hopes as they both await their round of 16 encounters.
On his - and India's - Olympic debut in the Men's Super Heavyweight (+91kg) category, Satish Kumar got the better of Jamaica’s Ricardo Brown by a 4:1 split decision. The 32-year-old Indian was on the defensive in the first two rounds and even suffered a cut above his right eye. But he landed better-timed punches to win over the judges and advance to the quarterfinals. He is one win away from a medal, after becoming the first Indian male boxer to register a win in Tokyo. But it won't be easy, as his next opponent is current world champion Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan.
The Indian men's hockey team followed PV Sindhu into the quarterfinals with a confident 3-1 win over defending champions Argentina in their Pool A match. Harmanpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad and Varun Kumar were on target for India.
The men-in-blue are currently second in their group after four matches with 9 points, only behind world No. 2 Australia (12 points), to whom they lost 7-1 in their only defeat so far.
Spain (4 points) are third followed by New Zealand (4 points), Argentina (4 points) and Japan (1 point). Since 3 points are awarded for a win, India are guaranteed a top-two spot. Only the top four teams from each group qualify for the quarters.
One more match left in the group for India, though, against hosts Japan tomorrow.
PV Sindhu moved into the quarterfinals of the Women's Singles draw with a 21-15, 21-13 win over World No. 12 Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark in the Round of 16. The World no. 7 looked good today, her aggressive play forcing errors from her opponent. It will be an interesting match next against Akane Yamaguchi of Japan. The two have met several times before, with Sindhu leading 11-7, but the World No. 5 has won the last 3 out of 4 matches against India's Rio silver medallist.
Sify.com's Bhagya was at the Asaka Shooting Range to witness India's shooters in action. Here's what she has to tell us -
Manu Bhaker entered the shooting range with her coach Ronak Pandit and the 19-year-old looked more composed than her previous events. That composure reflected in her shooting as well as she scored 292 to remain in contention.
The youngster had faced a lot of criticism after failing to live up to her World No.1 ranking and her form going into the Olympics.
Except for that occasional sip of water and a look at her coach, and taking deep breaths in between, Bhaker seemed in control of her nerves this time around.
She has faced a lot of criticism, some unjustified, but Manu Bhaker put it all aside in the precision round of Women's 25m Pistol Qualification. At the halfway stage, she is ranked 5th with a score of 292 (97, 97, 98) and has a good chance of finishing in the top 8 to qualify for the finals. The rapid fire round and finals take place tomorrow (30 July).
Fellow shooter Rahi Sarnobat is placed 25th with a score of 287, and is likely to miss out.
Much before most of us woke up, Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh finished 11th overall in the Men's Lightweight Double Sculls event.
Competing in the ranking race Final B, which decides the 7th to 12th positions in the final standings, the Indian scullers clocked 6:29.66 to finish 5th out of six.
However, it should bepointed out that this is the best result Indian rowers have ever achieved at the Olympics. Previously at the 2008 Beijing Games, Manjeet Singh and Devender Khandwal finished at 18th in the same event, while in Rio in 2016, rower Dattu Bhokanal finished 13th in the single sculls competition.
A big feat for Arjun and Arvind that they actually made the semifinals for the first time in the country's history.
… And breathe!
What a morning for India on Day 7 of the Tokyo Olympics. After Mirabai Chanu's silver on the first day of competition, there hasn't been much for India to cheer. However, today could be the day it starts to look up, as the Indian team produces some big results on this early, busy morning.
Plenty of Indian athletes are in the quarterfinals now. Let's do a recap, shall we?
So much better from Manu Bhaker. The 19-year-old has endured a difficult campaign so far, but she finishes with a 98 in the third series of the precision round to stay in the contention in the Women's 25m Pistol Qualification. Her score of 292 has put her 5th in the table at the moment, but there is a rapid fire stage to come tomorrow, and only then will the final top 8 shooters qualify for the finals. Fingers crossed!
Fellow shooter Rahi Sarnobat is currently placed 25th after a score of 287.
The wins just keep coming for India this morning! Satish Kumar has got the better of his 31-year-old opponent, defeating Jamaican Ricardo Brown 4:1 in the Round of 16 of the Men's Super Heavy (+91kg).
Time to turn our attention to boxing now. Satish Kumar is the first Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics in the super heavyweight (91 kg+) category. Can the 32-year-old continue India's superb start to Day 7? He is in the ring at the Kokugikan Arena now in red, up against fellow debutant Ricardo Brown of Jamaica.
Wow! There is heartbeat monitor for the archers, but if there was one for the viewers as well, mine would be off the charts! Atanu Das has just upset Korea's Jin-Hyek Oh to win the Men’s Individual 1/16 Eliminations.
The Indian archer lost the first set but found his form to tie the next two sets at 27. The Korean then faltered in the fourth set in the windy conditions at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, before the fifth set was split again. Jin-Hyek Oh began the shoot-off and hit a 9, but Atanu showed nerves of steel to get a 10 - something that had eluded him till the end of the fourth set - to progress to the 1/8 Eliminations.
What a brilliant performance by Atanu under pressure, against one of the toughest opponents in the draw, who is already a goal medal winner in the team event at Tokyo. He was vociferously supported by wife Deepika Kumari from the stands, who also made it to the same stage yesterday in the women's draw.
Three out of three for India this morning! Atanu Das has won a tense match against Yu-Cheng Deng of Chinese Taipei in the Men’s Individual 1/32 Eliminations. The Indian has done well to beat Deng 6-4, who won the silver in the Men's Team event.
Next up is Korea's Jin-Hyek Oh, who was part of the team that beat the Indian men in the team event earlier and went on to win gold. The Indian men have had a really tough draw in Tokyo! Even Pravin Jadhav went out to World Champion Brady Elison after knocking out World No. 2 Galsan Bazarzhapov in his individual rounds yesterday (28 July).
I will gladly do more such early mornings if it means wins for India like this! A resounding 3-1 win against Argentina has put the Indian men into the quarters.
Argentina needed to win this match to have a chance of going through, and it showed as they pushed India at the start of the fourth quarter. The defending champions converted their first penalty corner to earn a goal via Maico Casella. But India stormed back, and a field goal from Vivek Sagar Prasad and another penalty corner conversion from Harmanpreet Singh gave India a convincing 3-1.
India utilised their video referrals well. Argentina could have had another penalty corner when it was still 1-1, but India got it right and it was ruled out. That was the only brief period in the match when Argentina were on the attack. Great performance from the Indian men, and they have now sealed their place in the next round!
She said she wanted to go one better after the silver in Rio last time… Well, she's on track! A dominant show from the World No. 7 in the second game and PV Sindhu is through to the quarterfinals with a 21-15, 21-13 win over Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt.
Her service and drop shots were totally on point today, while her strategy to not engage in longer rallies in the second game paid off. Onwards and upwards!
Argentina waste a few good moves and then India finally get the goal their possession and play promised. Varun Kumar converts a penalty corner in the 22nd minute to go up 1-0. The team earns six more penalty corners, but those go waste, including two back-to-back PCs in the final seconds of the third quarter.
Mia Blichfeldt began on the attack but Sindhu soon forced the World No. 12 into making errors with aggressive play of her own, and she's taken the first game 21-15. The Indian showed some smart play after the Dane brought it to 17-15 at one point.
India continue their dominance but the Argentinians are frustrating them so far with their deliberate defensive play. Simranjeet Singh came close but the first half remains goalless in spite of all the possession for the men-in-blue. Sreejesh hasn't had much to do so far.
It was another long drive for our woman Bhagya in Tokyo, but she has finally reached the Asaka Shooting Range where India's Rahi Sarnobat has just completed her shots to finish with a score of 287 in the Women's 25m Pistol Qualification Precision event.
Meanwhile, Bhagya explains what how it all works -
What the rule book says
The shooters have to hit the target from a distance of 25m. They use a 5.6mm-caliber pistol with a maximum weight of 1.4kg.
The center of the target is positioned at 1.4 metres above the ground.
Precision Stage & Rapid Fire Stage
In the qualification round, each shooter has to fire 60 shots, divided in two stages - Precision and Rapid Fire - of 30 shots each.
In Precision, they fire 6 five-shot series within five minutes.
In Rapid Fire, the players will see the green lights turned on for 3 seconds per shot when they shoot. The red light interval between consecutive green lights is 7 seconds. The maximum score per shot is 10 points.
Now Sarnobat's current (not final) scorecard should make more sense to you all!
The Indian men are on top, with 7 circle penetrations in the first 15 minutes, but have no goals to show for their strong play yet. Quarter 1 ends at 0-0 at the Oi Hockey Stadium.
PV Sindhu can make it to the quarterfinals even before the Indian hockey men, if she can win her Round of 16 encounter against Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt.
Elsewhere, the Indian men have kicked off their Pool A match against Argentina. The drubbing from Australia aside, the men-in-blue have posted wins against New Zealand and Spain, and another victory today will take them through to the quarterfinals.
India have won all their previous matches against Argentina, but their opponents are the reigning Olympic champions, so they should not be taken lightly.
Thank you, Bhagya. Really made us feel like we are in Tokyo too, with you, discovering the city and its people. Do keep sharing more photos and anecdotes with us during the day!
Meanwhile, this is Priyanka up (not so) bright and early on the morning of Day 7 to bring you live updates from the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Hoping I can forget about my lost sleep with some positive results for the Indian team on this busy morning.
The Women's 25m Pistol Qualification is already underway. Rahi Sarnobat is currently 7th with a score of 287/300, under-the-spotlight Manu Bhaker is yet to begin. This is her last chance for glory at this Olympics, but let's remember she's only 19, and will hopefully bounce back stronger from this year's painful experience.
The shooters, sailors and golfers begin the morning session, followed by PV Sindhu in action at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in the knockout stages. I am planning to head to the Asaka Shooting Range to catch Manu Bhakker in action in her third and final event, along with Rahi Sarnobat in the 25m pistol competition. Hope the sun is less intense today, it's going to involve a lot of hopping between venues!
Here's the complete schedule for the day:
The heat in Tokyo has been brutal, I can empathise with the athletes complaining about it. Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev, who ended our Sumit Nagal's progress in the men's singles event, burst out saying ‘I can die’, after surviving the extreme conditions in his pre-quarterfinal clash against Italy's Fabio Fognini.
We journalists are luckier than the athletes who have to sweat it out in the middle. We travel to venues in the air-conditioned media buses with wi-fi access for hours when we do our post-production work. However, the long walkthrough at the Media Transport Mall that's open to the sky makes it very challenging, especially when we shuttle between venues The bus journeys to the venues are a minimum of 30-40 minutes. I get a whiff of the flavour of the sights and sounds that the city has to offer ... on these bus rides to the various sporting venues or while on my way back to the hotel after a hectic day, with my trolley in tow. The sights, in a way, relax me.
A bustling city whose citizens impress with impeccable manners and are sticklers for discipline ... unlike what I am used to back home. But the tenacity of the human spirit shines through despite the self-imposed silence during Covid times and the quarantine protocols imposed on us (visitors).
The city speaks to you through its architecture. A close study of the buildings can lead you into the hearts and minds of the occupants. Each building tells a story. The crisp structures, the high buildings, the fluid lines that seem to stretch into the horizon ... vibrate with the essence of Japanese culture.
Flexible yet precise, polite but not overly friendly, loquacious, but not loud. And exuding an impenetrable sense of tranquility. This city is so soothing! It stirs the Indianness within (and without). Though I'm sure there are a lot more places in Tokyo that are vibrant and the exact opposite of what I have been allowed to see up until now. But it's definitely heartening to see this side of Tokyo.