Lalita Babar was the only bright spot in another day of disappointments for India. Shooters Mairaj Khan and Gurpreet Singh failed to qualify, which means only Gagan Narang and Chain Singh have a chance of winning a medal for India when they participate in the 50m Rifle 3 Position. 

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna spurned a good start and lost their semifinal against Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram and will now play for bronze on 14 August.

Here’s the roundup:

Lalita smashes national record, enters 3000m steeplechase final

Lalita Babar opened a new chapter in India’s athletics history in the Olympic Games by becoming the first woman after three decades to enter the final of a track event when she shattered the national mark to reach the 3000M steeplechase medal round.

Lalita, hailing from Satara district of Maharashtra, qualified for the women’s 3000m steeplechase final after finishing fourth in the qualifying heat 2 with a new national record time of 9 minutes, 19.76 seconds while the holder of that mark, compatriot Sudha Singh, was eliminated after a poor run in heat 3.

b’Lalita Babar in action in 2015. AFP’

The 27-year-old Lalita, who had won the bronze medal in the event in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, two years ago, emulated ‘Payyoli Express’ P T Usha by entering the final. 

The other Indian in the event, Sudha Singh, performed far below her best to finish a distant 9th in heat 3 in a poor 9:43.29 which gave her the 30th spot out of 52 in the qualifiers.

Lalita will be seen in the final of the gruelling race on August 15. 

Sania-Bopanna fall to Venus-Rajeev, will play for bronze

b’Sania-Bopanna in action at Rio 2016. AFP’

Sania and Bopanna outsmarted the Americans with the latter’s strong serve causing a lot of trouble, and Sania played some sublime winners. But when the time came to respond to pressure, the two failed to come up with the goods.

Americans Bethanie Jack Sock-Bethanie Mattek-Sands or Czech pair Lucie Hradecka-Radek Stepanek at 8.30 PM on 14 August.

Gurpreet and Mairaj bow out of Rio 2016

Indian shooters’ dismal run in the Rio Olympics continued as Gurpreet Singh and Mairaj Ahmad Khan failed to progress to the finals of their respective events.

Gurpreet finished seventh in the qualification round of the 25m rapid fire pistol, missing out by two points; while Mairaj ended ninth after losing in a shoot-off in the Men’s Skeet event.

As a rule, the top six are entitled to advance to the finals in both the events.

b’Mairaj Khan. AFP’

Gurpreet, who was placed 10th at the end of first qualifying phase with 289 points, collected a total of 292 points for a total of 581, including 24x, to miss the finals by a whisker. His one bad round of 90 yesterday cost him a place in the final of the event.

After Mairaj was tied with tied with four other shooters, the last two semifinals sports were shoot-off where the Indian, who was 10th overnight, dropped to ninth with a +3.

Indian women’s hockey team lose 0-5 in last match of Rio 2016

The Indian women’s hockey team suffered a humiliating 0-5 loss against higher-ranked Argentina in their final Pool B fixture to end their campaign at the Rio Olympics.

Martina Cavallero (16th minute, 29th), Maria Granatto (23rd), Carla Rebecchi (26th) and Agustina Albertarrio (27th) scored for Argentina, while India drew a blank to slump to their fourth successive loss in the Rio Games.

b’Argentina punished India for defensive frailty. PTI’

With this loss, India finished their six-team Pool B campaign on a disappointing note after returning to women’s Olympic hockey since their 1980 appearance. 

Jwala-Ashwini lose third match in a row

Already out of medal contention, India’s women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa suffered their third successive loss in their final Group A match against Thailand’s Supajirakul Puttita and Taerattanachai Sapsiree in the badminton event.

Playing their second Olympics after London Games, Jwala and Ashwini lost 17-21 15-21 in a women’s doubles match to finish their proceedings with a hat-trick of defeats.

Chawrasia Tied 22nd, Lahiri Joint 57th In Third Round

Indian golfers SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri were placed tied 22nd and joint 57th after posting two-under 69 and four-over 75 respectively in the third round of the Rio Olympic Games here today.

b’Jwala-Ashwini failed to win a single match at Rio 2016. PTI’

Chawrasia, who took his three-day total to two-under 211, was looking set for a top-15 finish but two closing bogeys ensured he settles for a 69.

Lahiri’s struggle continued and he posted 75 — his worst score in three rounds. His 54-hole total stands at nine-over 222. The round is yet to be completed with almost half of the 60-man field still on the course. 

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