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Why there is a desperation to end India's poor run...

August 17, 2016 12:41 IST
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Vikas Krishan

IMAGE: Indian boxer Vikas Krishan said he could not have done better than what he managed in his quarter-final loss. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters.

Eleven days of action have failed to bring India, that won a record six medals in London four years ago, a single podium finish and there's growing desperation to end this poor run.

India's campaign now has been reduced to four disciplines- track and field, badminton, women’s golf and wrestling –after the flop show put up by the contingent in other sports.

If India draw a blank in the Games it would be the first Olympics since 1992 in Barcelona that the country has emerged without a single medal to its name.

It has been a gradual improvement since 1996 when tennis player Leander Paes provided the country with its first individual Olympic medal after 1952 Helsinki by winning a bronze in men's singles.

The bronze medal by woman weightlifter Karnam Malleswari in Sydney 2000 was followed by shooter Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore's silver winning effort in Athens 2004.

These were forerunners to Abhinav Bindra becoming the first and only Indian individual gold medal winner in 2008 Beijing where wrestler Sushil Kumar and boxer Vijender Singh also won bronze medals.

Three in Beijing became six in London four years later, albeit without a gold medal to boast of, as Sushil Kumar (silver), shooters Vijay Kumar (silver) and Gagan Narang and Dutt (all bronze), among men, and shuttler Saina Nehwal and boxer M C Mary Kom, among women, climbed the medal podium.

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