The Tokyo Olympics has so far been mixed baggage for India, just one medal and some shocking exits. Some players have flattered only to deceive in the end whereas some have sprung a surprise. Till now there has been a lot of buzz regarding certain Indian players and were justifiably marked as medal hopefuls. Though we have witnessed some good performances from the fancied ones, certain players eventually bowed out due to the burden of expectations. However, it is the unfancied or the unheralded ones who are quietly going about their business with clinical precision and continued to remain in the realm of secrecy. Over here, we will be listing out certain players who have conversed merely through their on-field escapades.
Unheralded but brilliant Indian players at the Olympics
This goalkeeper from Kerala has been quietly doing his duty with diligence for the Indian Hockey team at the Tokyo games. Unlike his fellow players like Mandeep Singh, he has chosen to stay away from the limelight or media glare. The value of Sreejesh can be gauged from the number of saves he has made for his team which always goes unnoticed. In the opening game against Kiwis, the scoreline and outcome could have been different had it not been for Sreejesh’s strict vigilance at the goal post. His denial of goals to the opposition is a blessing that India will count on as the team crosses several hurdles at the Olympics going forward.
This Golaghat-born pugilist has moved to the quarterfinal of the Tokyo Olympics devoid of any fanfare or celebrations in the media circles. The debutant’s last triumph came against Germany’s Nadine Apetz, who happened to be 15 years older than Lovlina. Despite winning Bronze at AIBA championships, it is still a mystery why the media remained indifferent to her. However, now she has shocked everyone in the sports fraternity as Lovlina is within striking distance of winning a medal for India. Hope this unsung player’s perseverance and belief bear fruit at the Tokyo games.
This is another story of unsung brilliance. The Archer from West Bengal beat 2012 gold medalist Oh Jin Hyek of South Korea to progress towards 1/8 elimination round in the Individual Archery Event. He managed to achieve this much despite fairing badly in the ranking round and being pitted against some fierce opponents later on in the Archery events. The excitement and hunger to excel were writ large on his face as he indulged in a mute celebration after outclassing the Korean rival in an absolutely thrilling contest. For Atanu Das, let this be the beginning of great things in the future.
The Bulandshahr-born Haryana Boxer is another surprise package of this year’s Olympics. Satish, being the first Indian Boxer to qualify for the 2020 games in the super heavyweight bracket, is just a win away from laying his hands on the medal for India. His nimble footwork at the ring against his Jamaican opponent Ricardo Brown helped him outbox the latter and it was a sight to behold. Now, Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov stands between Satish and the medal for India in the Boxing domain. For someone with hardly any knowledge about boxing at the start to come this far is nothing short of an incredible feat.