Maybe … just maybe … we could expect good news when Lady Luck ends her quarantine and steps into the stadium tomorrow? Let's wait and watch. Until then, 'Tanoshinde ne'!
On the good side, Sharath Kamal won the men's singles Round 2, beat Portugal's Apolonia 4-2. However, a string of defeats was in store for Team India on Day 4. It just wasn't their day today. A quick roundup:
Phew! That's what you call a bad day at the office. There are days when Lady Luck is in quarantine and just won't smile at you no matter how hard you work. Today was one of those days. Could it have gotten any worse?
Looks like we've hit rock bottom. And the only way now is … UP!
Indian eves had great energy, they had a game plan. Sad to see them go down, but this is not the end of the world.
Fabulous work by Team India. They created new opportunities for themselves after the second half, but as luck would have it … they missed a couple of goals, but they defended well against one of the best teams in the world. Uplifting match for India though the numbers weren't enough. There were some good saves by German keeper Julia Sonntag.
Sharmila Devi gets yellow card and is very disappointed. After a tough show by India, there are just ten seconds left.
India being aggressive after half-time. Vandana tries hard for a goal but isn't successful because her shot hits the woodwork.
India fails to convert penalty corner to a goal. Germany add one more to their kitty.
Good show by Vandana. India wins first penalty corner of Tokyo 2020.
No penalty corner yet for India, 10 seconds to go for second quarter. Valiant effort by India, but need to be better. Most impressive play by Sharmila Devi. Germany is one of the best teams.
Crafty play by Germany, it's a second penalty corner but India tries to overturn it by mentioning a 5m infringement. And India succeeds in overturning the penalty corner, getting a free hit.
No penalty corner yet for India eves. They are defending well, but need to penetrate the wall of white jerseys.
India yet to open account. Team huddle in progress.
First penalty corner goal goes to Germany.
Both teams playing well, some good skills on show: defense, speed and tackling. No goals yet.
Team India lineup
Gurjit Kaur, Deep Grace Ekka, Monika, Savita, Vandana Katariya, Udita, Navneet Kaur, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Salima Tete, Neha
Team Germany lineup
Horn Kira, Amelie Wortmann, Nike Lorenz, Oruz Selin, Katarina Anne Schrolder, Sonja Zimmermann, Lisa Altenburg, Julia Sonntag, Franzisca Hauke, Pieper Cecile, Viktoria Huse
As an ode to the country, the wood used to build the stadium has been sourced from all of Japan's 47 prefectures. Its architect, Kengo Kuma, describes it as a 'living tree'. The energy efficient stadium has been built in such a way that the inflow of breeze is maximised throughout the structure in order to rely less on air conditioning.
As we wait for India's hockey eves to begin their match, here are a few quick facts about the Japan National Stadium. It serves as the main stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies, and as the venue for track and field athletics events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. It was formerly known as New National Stadium. The structure is 50 metres tall and cost approximately ¥153 billion.
Good news for all the tennis fans out there. Novak Djokovic won his second round match against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff. Djokovic defeated Struff in straight sets by 6-4, 6-3. Nole is on a roll!
The women's hockey match against Germany is actually scheduled at 5:45pm.
One more bites the dust. Ashish Kumar goes down 0-5 to China's Erbieke, becomes third Indian boxer to lose at the Olympics.
Ashish keeps his guard down, Erbieke lands decent right-hooks. Judges rule in favour of Erbieke.
Both boxers land blows on each other and look aggressive. Ashish loses first round against Erbieke.
Boxer Ashish Kumar is set to make his Olympic debut in the 75 kg category. His Round of 32 match against China's Erbieke Tuoheta is scheduled for 6:36 pm local time or 3:06 pm IST. The bout will take place at the Kokugikan Arena.
Nethra Kumanan had a good outing in Race 3 but fell behind after finishing 40th in Race 4. The finalists are decided after 10 races, with the lowest score not taken into account. So, the Indian is still in contention in the Women's Laser Dial. Remember Nethra is the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics.
Indian women's table tennis campaign is over. However, there were some encouraging results this time, and we hope that Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee can build on this experience and do better at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The sole Indian left in Tokyo now is Sharath Kamal, who won his opening match earlier today. However, his next opponent is three-time Olympics gold medallist and World No. 3 Ma Long of China.
Polcanova had a knee surgery earlier this year but she showed no signs of it as she eased past Manika Batra, winning the final game 11-7. Sadly for India, Manika falls short at the Round of 32 stage. Final score - 11-8, 11-2, 11-5, 11-7.
Too many errors from Manika, which she can ill afford against such a top player. The third game also goes to the Austrian 5-11. Manika needs to win the next game to stay in it.
Not the best start for Manika. She's lost the first two games, 8-11, 2-11. The second game was over in just 4 minutes. Can she come back again? It will be difficult against the World No. 16.
Next in action for India is Manika Batra, who will be taking on Sofia Polcanova of Austria for a place in the Women's Singles Round of 16. The Tokyo Games started for India's top-ranked player on a controversial note, when she refused to let national coach Soumyadeep Roy advise her after her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape was not allowed access to the competition area. However, it did not come in the way of her win over 20th seed Margaryta Pesotska of Ukraine in Round 2. This is already new territory for Manika, who lost in the first round at the Rio Olympics but recovered to win Bronze in the 2018 Asian Games and 4 medals, including Gold in the singles event, at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She will need to show similar form and focus against her 10th-seeded opponent today.
Mirabai Chanu won India's sole medal at the Tokyo Olympics so far, bagging the Silver at the Women's Weightlifting (49kg) event on Day 1.
Nagal saved 3 match points but ultimately the Russian was too good for him. Daniil Medvedev has made quick work of this Round 2 Singles match, winning 6-2, 6-1. No shame in losing to the World No. 2, the difference in class was too much for Sumit Nagal to overcome today.
And with that, India's campaign in tennis at the Tokyo Olympics comes to an end.
India's Vishnu Saravanan is placed 25th in the overall standings after three races in the Men's Laser One Person Dinghy event. The results of his third race were not taken into account in a best of three. Race 4 to take place tomorrow (27 July).
Lost his serve in the first game and never quite recovered after that. Sumit Nagal gives up the first set 2-6 and Daniil Medvedev is clearly on top here.
Sumit Nagal wasn't even born when the last Indian won a Tennis Singles match at the Olympics. Leander Paes won the Bronze for India that year (1996), but it will be much harder for Nagal to emulate his hero as he is now in action against second seed Daniil Medvedev in the Men's Singles Round 2 match. Nagal has done well to come this far. He only qualified for the tournament at the last minute after some high-profile late withdrawals and did not have much time to get used to the hard courts, not his preferred surface to begin with. The hot weather has also been a challenge for all tennis players. Let's see how well the Indian can do at the Ariake Tennis Park today.
So, not a great hour or so for India. Although the day began positively, we've now seen our athletes go down to admittedly superior opponents in Table Tennis, Badminton, Archery, Fencing and Shooting. Disappointment for Sutirtha Mukherjee, the doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the men's team of Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai, Bhavani Devi, and Angad Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan in Skeet, respectively.
Still, plenty of Indians in action today. Let's keep the spirits up! #Cheer4India
India's participation in the Men's Skeet event has also come to an end. Angad Bajwa scored 24/25 in his final round of the Qualification event to finish with a total of 120, which leaves him well out of contention in 18th. Mairaj Ahmad Khan's total of 117 puts him in the 25th spot. There has been no joy for India in Tokyo so far.
No giant-killing act for the Indian archers either. Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai have lost 0-6 to the mighty South Korean team of Kim Je Deok, Kim Woojin and Oh Jinhyek in the Men's Team Quarterfinals.
It was not to be this time. The top-ranked Indonesian pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo need just 32 minutes to win 21-13, 21-12 in the Men's Doubles Group A match. The Indian due of Satwik and Chirag struggled to get into the game today. However, they still have a chance to make the quarterfinals.
India are up against favourites South Korea in the Men's Team Quarterfinals. A tough ask for Pravin Jadhav, Atanu Das and Tarundeep Rai against Kim Je Deok, Kim Woojin and Oh Jinhyek.
Did you know that the Indonesian pair is known as ‘The Minions’? Well, don't go by their short height, because Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo have played a high tempo game to win 21-13 in Game 1.
Chirag took a medical timeout in between to get his injured toe bandaged up. Let's hope the it isn't too serious.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty already smashed predictions when they stunned World No. 3 Yang Lee and Chi-Lin Wang in their first Group A Badminton match. Can they repeat their giant-killing act? Their next opponents, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia are World No. 1, and have beaten the Indians every time they have come face-to-face. Perhaps the Indian duo's coach, former men’s doubles number one and Olympics silver medallist Mathias Boe can help them find a way.
All eyes now on the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza.
Another simple win for Japan's Naomi Osaka and she is into Round 3 of the Women's Singles in Tennis. She eased past 49th-ranked Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland to win 6-3, 6-2.
There is no comeback this time for Sutirtha. The Indian paddler tried but was never really in the game, losing 11-5 in the fourth game to the higher-ranked Fu Yu.
Sutirtha is being overwhelmed by her opponent here. She trails Fu Yu 11-3, 11-3, 11-5.
Table tennis provided some joy for us earlier this morning, when Sharath Kamal won his Round 2 game in the Men's Singles. This was a boost after G. Sathiyan's shock loss in the first round yesterday (25 July).
However, Kamal will have to play the match of his life if he wants to go past his next opponent - reigning Olympic and world champion Ma Long of China.
We're now following Sutirtha Mukherjee, who is taking on Portugal's Fu Yu in the Women's Singles Round 2. This has been a story of redemption for Sutirtha, having missed the last Olympics in Rio due to being suspended by the Table Tennis Federation of India over age-fudging. However, the Bengal player rose from the depths to become national champion in 2017 and 2019, as well as winning the team gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Incidentally, she beat India's star player Manika Batra in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers Tournament in Doha to book her ticket to Tokyo.
Up next is another higher-ranked opponent, after she beat Sweden's Linda Bergstrom in Round 1. Let's hope she can trump the odds again!
Qualification for the Men's Skeet event has resumed. After the first three rounds yesterday, Angad Bajwa was at 11th position, while Mairaj Ahmad Khan was 25th. Only the top 6 will qualify for the final.
Round 4 scores are in. With a score of 23, Angad is down to 19th while Mairaj is still at 25th, having scored 23/25. It's looking tough from the Indians from here, only one round left…
A step too far for the Indian fencer. She put up a valiant fight against World No. 3 Manon Brunet of France, but went down 7-15 in the Round of 32 of the Women’s Individual Sabre event. Still, her achievement is impressive, having introduced the nation to a sport most of us hadn't even heard of, and in which India was represented for the first time even though the discipline has featured at the Summer Games since 1896.
After the disappointment of last evening, Monday morning has begun on a far more positive note for the Indian team. Let's take a look at what's happened so far -
Fencing: Bhavani Devi has made history as the first-ever Indian fencer at the Olympics, defeating Tunisia’s Nadia Ben Azizi 15-3 to move into the Round of 32 in the Women’s Individual Sabre.
Archery: Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav are into the quarterfinals of the Men’s Team event after beating Kazakhstan in the Round of 16.
Table Tennis: Sharath Kamal progressed to Round 3 of the Men's Singles event with a 2-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 over Tiago Apolonia of Portugal.
Thank you, Bhagya. Hello and welcome to our live updates from Day 4 of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. I begin with some more good news for India. Achanta Sharath Kamal has just won his opening match in the Table Tennis Men's Singles. The experienced Indian, playing his fourth Olympics, is into Round 3.
It was a slow start but Sharath Kamal soon took control against Portugal's Tiago Apolonia to win 2-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9.
I leave you with these snapshots from Tokyo. Itching to get out there and cheer for Team India from the venues, from tomorrow.
Priyanka will join you soon to continue the updates. See ya!
If you had missed her debut bout, don't worry you can catch her LIVE at 7:40 hrs IST when she takes on World No.3 Manon Brunet.
No Monday morning blues for the Indian men's archery team as they serve up a convincing victory.
Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai defeated Kazakhstan's 6-2 in the 1/8 eliminations.
Take a look at the scoresheet:
In the Quarterfinals, the Indian men's archery team will face South Korea's Deok Je Kim, Woojin Kim, Jinhyek Oh.
Our Sailors Vishnu Saravanan and Nethra Kumanan are also in action in the laser radial races three and four at the Enoshima Yacht Harbor.
Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and compatriot Mairaj Ahmad Khan will take the field to complete the men's qualification in the skeet competition at the Asaka Shooting Range.
And, after Srihari Nataraj and Manaa Patel failed to make the semis at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, all eyes will be on Sajan Prakash, who was the first Indian swimmer to qualify for this edition.
Sumit Nagal needs a performance of his career as he faces Danii Medvedev in the second round in the Men's Singles action at the Ariake Tennis Park.
Will 39-year-old paddler Sharath Kamal, playing his fourth Olympics, make a mark as he kicks off his singles campaign?
Do not miss out on the TT girls Sutirtha Mukherjee and Manika Batra as they feature in their second-round matches at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
After their stunning win over the World No.3 duo Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin 21-16, 16-21, 27-25 in their opening Group Stage match, men's doubles pair of Chirag and Satwiksairaj will be in action at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 3.
In boxing, Ashish Kumar will enter the ring for his round of 32 match at Tokyo's Kokugikan Arena, which is the spiritual home of Japan's national sport of sumo wrestling.
The Indian Women's Hockey Team will be in action in the night against Germany at the Oi Hockey Stadium. The lessons learnt from their fighting defeat to the Netherlands will come in handy for Rani Rampal's women-in-blue.
Bhavani dominated the first period, racing to a 8-0 lead. She then began the second period with another point, her ninth consecutive strike before her opponent Nadia got on board.
In 6 minutes and 14 seconds the bout was won 15-3 in Bhavani's favour.
It's a winning start for Bhavani Devi as she defeats Tunisia's Nadiia Ben Azizi 15-3. A convincing victory for the Indian.
Bhavani Devi will kick-start today's action. She will take the field in Women's Sabre Individual event.
And, Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav compete in men's team 1/8 eliminations at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field.
Stay tuned to the action at Makuhari Messe (the fencing venue) as this 27-year-old aims to strike her opponent in specific points, like the torso, non-playing hand as well as the helmet. The first to 15 points is the winner. She will start as an underdog but that could work to her advantage. Bhavani's strengths are her swift movement and her ability to fight back if it gets to 14-all, then the final strike is considered the match-winning one. And Bhavani is a master of that art.
Today will be a special day for India at the Tokyo Games.
When was the last time India featured in one of the core sports of the Olympics? Yes, Gymnastics was a big breakthrough in 2016 in Rio when Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian to perform on the international stage dominated by the Russians and Americans. But Fencing?
Back when my friend showed me video clips of her teenage son's fencing lessons on her mobile, I was quite surprised that it wasn't cricket or basketball or even our national game hockey, instead a little boy dressed in white attire and a helmet, wielding the sword. Unaware that a 25-year-old from the same state that I hail from was rising in the ranks in the same sport, which we happen to see on Television, that too only during the Olympics.
When Chadalavada Anandha Sundhararaman Bhavani Devi qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, for Fencing, a sport that dates back to the inaugural edition in 1876, not just me, but most of us started to read up on the sport.
Bhavani Devi took up the sport, thanks to Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu's vision in identifying Fencing as one that could nurture Olympic athletes.
In 2017 she was just a Top-100 fencer (ranked in the late 90s), Bhavani Devi's rise in this sport in the last three years has been impressive. With a world ranking in the Top 50, when she steps on to the 2mx14m strip in the Sabre event, the fastest of the three fencing disciplines, we will be cheering Allez, fencer Bhavani Devi!