India’s Chanu Saikhom Mirabai opened the medal tally for the country on the first day of Tokyo Olympics by winning silver medal in the women’s Weight lifting 49 kg category. The 26 year old lifted a total of 202 kg, with 87 kg in snatch and 115 kg in clean and jerk. China’s Hou Zhuhui won the gold by lifting 210 kg while Indonesia’s Cantik Windy Aisah won the bronze medal by lifting 194 kg.
Chanu lifted 84kg and 87kg successfully but failed to lift 89kg as she was placed in second spot after snatch while China’s Zhihu lifted 94kg to create an Olympic record. Chanu is the first Indian woman athlete to win an Olympic weightlifting medal after Karnam Malleshwari.
Meanwhile in tennis, Sumit Nagal won his first round singles match 6-4 6-7 6-4 against 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. Indian badminton men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty gave the Chinese Taipei’s world number 3 ranked duo of Yang Lee and Chi-Lin Wang a tough competition in the deciding set as the former duo won 27-25 to win the game. Meanwhile, badminton player Sai Praneeth lost to Misha Ziberman of Israel in the men’s singles Group Stage (Group D).
In men’s hockey, India beat New Zealand 3-2 in the Pool A match through goals from Rupinder Pal Singh and two from Harmanpreet Singh. Indian women’s hockey team will also be kick-starting their campaign on Day 2. In Archery, India’s Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav lost to South Korea’s An San and Kim Je Deok 6-2 in the quarterfinal.
Indian shooters, however, had a disappointing run as Saurabh Chaudhary finished seventh in men’s 10m Air Pistol final. Elavenil Valarivan finished at 16th (626.5) while Apurvi Chandela finished 36th (621.9) after six series of 10 shots and therefore failed to qualify in the 10m air rifle women’s qualification round (only top 8 qualified). In table tennis, India’s Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra lost in straight games 11-8 11-6 11-5 11-4 against the Chinese Taipei pair of Yun Ju Lin and Ching I Cheng in their Round of 16 clash in the mixed doubles event.
Earlier, India’s boxing legend Mary Kom and men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh, were India’s flag bearers, as they led the Indian contingent at the parade of nations during the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Friday. 19 Indian athletes and six officials made their way to the Olympic stadium.
The ceremony was held without spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions. Theme of the night was ‘United by Emotion’ which opened with a countdown video dating back to the time when Tokyo won the bid to host the Games in 2013 before working hard through a year of postponement due to the pandemic.
The ceremony is taking place before just a few hundred officials and dignitaries, including Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, French President Emmanuel Macron and US First Lady Jill Biden in the 68,000-capacity stadium.
Meanwhile, the Tokyo 2020 Organizers have put strict covid-19 measures in place, banning overseas fans for the first time ever, and keeping domestic spectators out of all but a handful of venues. The athletes, support staff and media are subject to strict Covid-19 protocols, including regular testing and daily health checks.