London: After a forgettable day at the London Olympics, India hopes for a double delight Wednesday with the semifinal and quarterfinal bouts of Manipuri boxers M.C. Mary Kom and Laishram Devendro Singh.
The country had a luckless day at the Olympics Tuesday with the men’s hockey team continuing their pathetic show by going down to Belgium 0-3 to suffer their fifth consecutive defeat while its two triple jumpers crashed out of the track and field competition.
Discus thrower Vikas Gowda put up a spirited show to finish eighth in the field of 12.
All eyes will be on the boxers now with Mary Kom eying to change to colour of an assured bronze in the 51 kg class and Devendro a win away from a medal in the 49 kg category.
Mary Kom takes on a tough British opponent in Nicola Adams for a shot at gold. She had lost to Nicola in the quarterfinals of the World Championships in China.
The aggressive Devdendro will have to come up with some lethal punches to knock out Irish Paddy Barnes, a bronze medallist of the Beijing Games.
Tuesday, goals by veteran Jerome Dekeyser (15th), Gautier Boccard (47th) and Tom Boon (67th) set up Belgium’s second win which lifted them to third position in the group with seven points while India – having lost all their matches – finished sixth without a point and will play for 9-12 positions, their worst-ever finish in the Olympics.
In athletics, male triple jumper Renjith Maheshwary gave a poor account of himself as he failed to qualify for the finals with a ‘No Mark’ show at the Olympic Stadium.
Renjith was shown the red flag in all three of his attempts as he over-stepped during take-off each time. The Indian was the only contestant in the event not to register a jump and finished last in the event.
Mayookha Johny, India’s sole woman triple jumper, too failed to qualify for the finals. She finished a dismal 22nd overall with a best effort of 13.77 metres, which she got on her first attempt.
Earlier Tuesday, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal received a rousing reception on her arrival back home at Hyderabad airport. A large number of well-wishers and the officials of Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh were present to welcome the player who got India’s only medal ever- a bronze – in Olympic badminton Saturday.
Saina also became the second woman from the country to win an Olympic medal when her opponent Wang Xin of China pulled out of the bronze medal play-off due to a knee injury. The Indian had lost to world champion Wang Yihan in the semifinals.