A rich haul of seven medals -- a gold, two silvers and four bronze medals -- meant that Tokyo 2020 will go down as India’s best performance at the Olympics so far. The Indian contingent finished 48th in the overall medals tally and returned with more medals than ever before. 

That said, India could have won even more medals had some of the country’s top medal hopes lived up to their billing. Although they featured some big names like six-time world champion Mary Kom, tennis ace Sania Mirza, boxing world No.1 Amit Panghal, wrestler Vinesh Phogat and archer Deepika Kumari, none of them managed to secure a podium finish for India at Tokyo 2020. 

Here’s a list of Indian athletes who failed to live up to the expectations at the Tokyo Games.

Mary Kom – Round of 16, women’s 51kg fly weight

Six-time world champion and London 2012 bronze medallist MC Mary Kom lost to Rio 2016 bronze-medallist Ingrit Valencia by a 3-2 split decision. Mary Kom, competing in her last Olympics, lost the match despite winning two of the three rounds.

Deepika Kumari – Quarter-finals, women’s individual recurve

World No. 1 Deepika was knocked out by top seed An San in the quarter-final of the women’s individual recurve after the Korean secured a 6-0 win. Deepika also paired with Pravin Jadhav in the mixed team event but couldn’t manage to go beyond the quarter-finals.

Vinesh Phogat – Quarter-finals, women’s 53kg wrestling

The top seed in her weight class, Vinesh Phogat’s Tokyo campaign was halted by Belarus' Vanesa Kaladzinskaya. Unbeaten in 2021, the Indian lost 3-9, a defeat by fall. Vinesh earlier got the better of Rio 2016 bronze medalist, Sofia Mattsson of Sweden in the first round but couldn’t win her quarter-final bout. 

Vikas Krishan – Round of 32, men’s welterweight (69kg)

Vikas Krishan, a three-time Olympian, fought with an injured shoulder at Tokyo. The experienced pugilist lost to world No. 6 and local favourite Sewon Okazawa 5-0 in the opening round. Vikas had injured his shoulder during a preparatory camp in Italy just before the Olympics and recently underwent surgery to fix his dislocated shoulder. 

Amit Panghal – Round of 16, men’s flyweight (52kg)

Top-seeded Amit Panghal was shocked by Rio 2016 silver medallist Yuberjen Martinez of Colombia after a 1-4 split decision loss in the Round of 16. Panghal had got a bye in the opening round and failed to live up to the hype in his first bit of action at Tokyo 2020. 

Manu Bhaker - 10m Air Pistol, 10m Air Pistol mixed team and 25m Pistol 

Manu Bhaker’s equipment malfunction in the women’s 10m air pistol final made more noise than her performance where she finished 12th. In the 25m pistol event, the Indian shooter seemed off colour, eventually finishing 15th. Manu along with Saurabh Chaudhary also finished 7th in the 10m Air Pistol mixed team event.

Featured photo : SAI Media