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India at Tokyo Olympics, Day 5 News Round-up: Women’s Hockey Team’s Losing Streak Continues; Deepika Enters Quarters

Tokyo Olympics: News round-up (Day 5) of the performance by Indian athletes on July 28, Wednesday.
Deepika Kumari in Tokyo Olympics quarterfinals

Deepika Kumari beat USA’s Jennifer Mucino Fernandez to enter the quarterfinals of the women’s individual archery event at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.

Indian interest in the archery arena was kept alive by Deepika Kumari who entered the quarterfinals on July 28, Wednesday. The day also saw PV Sindhu sealing her berth after topping her preliminary group in badminton.

Here is a round-up of how the Indians fared on Day 5 of the Tokyo Olympics.  

Deepika Enters Quarters

Deepika Kumari entered the quarterfinals with a nervy win over USA's Jennifer Mucino Fernandez. The Indian archer, World No. 1, won 6-4 and will feature in the quarters on July 30, Friday. 

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Earlier in the day, Deepika defeated Bhutan's Bhu Karma 6-0 in the 1/32 elimination round. Bhu Karma was not able to make a comeback after a slow start with Deepika shooting 9's throughout the match. Deepika remains the only Indian in the fray in archery with other contenders already eliminated. 

Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav were eliminated earlier. 

Veteran Archer Rai's journey at Tokyo Olympics 2020 came to an end in the men's individual Round of 32 match. After the match was tied 5-5 after five sets, the final outcome was decided by the shoot-off against Israel's Itay Shanny where Rai could manage only a nine. 

Sindhu Tops Preliminary Group

PV Sindhu advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of women's singles badminton event after beating Hong Kong's NY Cheung in a Group J match.

The 26-year-old Indian, who had claimed a silver medal in the last edition in Rio, prevailed over world No. 34 Cheung 21-9, 21-16 in a 35-minute match to top the group. 

Click | For More Coverage of the Tokyo Olympics From Newsclick Sports

Sindhu used her repertoire of strokes, and her ability to vary the pace troubled the Hong Kong player, making her run around the court. The Indian will then come up with a perfect placement. This was Sindhu's sixth win over Cheung in as many meetings.

World No. 7 Sindhu will meet Denmark's World No. 12 Mia Blichfeldt, who topped Group I. Sindhu has a 4-1 head-to-head record against Blichfeldt, whose only win against the Indian was at the Yonex Thailand Open earlier this year.

The shuttler from Hyderabad, seeded sixth, had defeated Ksenia Polikarpova of Israel in her opening match.

India Go Down 1-4

The Indian women's hockey team wasted chances galore to lose 1-4 against defending champions Great Britain. It was the side’s third consecutive preliminary stage defeat and has reduced its chances to qualify for the quarterfinals. 

The Indians were guilty of wasting opportunities in their first two games and the trend continued on Wednesday at the Oi Hockey Stadium as Great Britain punished them through strikes from Hannah Martin (2nd and 19th minute), Lily Owsley (41st minute) and Grace Balsdon (57th minute).

For India, Sharmila Devi scored the lone goal in the 23rd minute.

The Indians needed at least a point from this game to be safe but they now will have to win their remaining two matches to have any chance of qualifying for the knockout stage.

India had earlier lost 1-5 to world No.1 the Netherlands before slumping to a 0-2 defeat against Germany. Rani Rampal's side will next play Ireland on Friday.

Pooja in Quarters 

Pooja Rani out-punched Algeria's Ichrak Chaib in her opening bout to enter the quarterfinals of her maiden Olympic Games. The 30-year-old clinched the women's middleweight (75kg) bout 5-0, thoroughly dominating her rival. 

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The two-time Asian champion was in command with her right straights and also benefited immensely from Chaib's lack of balance in the ring.

All three rounds were a story of Rani's domination as Chaib, also appearing in her maiden Olympics, just could not figure a way to connect cleanly. Rani played smart by keeping her distance. All Rani had to do throughout the bout was counter-attack as Chaib failed spectacularly in trying to hit powerfully, her wild swings mostly missing the target.

Lal, Arvind Lose in Semis

Rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh failed to qualify for the men's lightweight double sculls final, finishing sixth and last in the second semifinal. Arjun and Arvind clocked 6:24.41 in semifinal 2 at the Sea Forest Waterway.

The top three pairs in each of the two semifinals qualify for the final.

Arjun and Arvind have, however, produced the best-ever Olympic performance by Indian rowers by reaching the semifinals. 

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