It turned out to be another day of heartbreaks for India at the Rio Olympics with wrestler Vinesh Phogat’s victory march halted by a freak injury and Sakshi Malik losing her quarter-final bout while shuttler Kidambi Srikanth’s valiant fight in the semi-final ended on the losing side.
Wednesday also witnessed double lap runner Tintu Luka finishing sixth in the 800 metre heats despite clocking her season’s best timing.
The day started with Srikanth going down after a valiant fight to two-time defending champion Lin Dan of China in the quarter-finals of the men’s singles event of badminton competitions.
Five-time world champion Dan edged World No.11 Srikanth 21-6, 11-21, 21-18.
With this win, the 32-year-old Chinese legend took a 3-1 head-to-head lead against the 23-year-old Indian shuttler.
In the semi-finals, Dan will face his long-time rival and Malaysian veteran Lee Chong Wei, who crushed Chinese Taipei’s Tou Tien Chen in a dominating 21-9, 21-15 victory.
Meanwhile, in the wrestling arena, Sakshi and Vinesh lost their respective quarter-final bouts in contrasting fashion to dent India’s medal chances in the category.
While Sakshi lost 2-9 to Russia’s Valeria Koblova in 58kg Freestyle category, it was heartbreak for Vinesh, who was forced to concede her 48kg bout against China’s Yanan Sun 1-2 after a freak knee injury.
Sakshi is still in contention for bronze via Repechage as Valeria reached the finals of 58kg weight category.
Earlier, Sakshi defeated Moldova’s Mariana Esanu Cherdivara on a four point take down criteria to enter the 1/4 final round.
In the 48kg category, Vinesh’s surge was cut short after her Chinese opponent hit back with a single-leg takedown hurting the Indian in the process.
The 21-year-old Haryana grappler was leading 1-0 before hurting her knee as the Chinese gained two points to be declared victorious by injury at the Carioca Arena.
Vinesh, who got her injured knee wrapped, was taken off on a stretcher as the injury seemed to be a very serious one.
Earlier, she got her Rio campaign off to a rousing start by overpowering Romania’s Emilia Alina Vuc 11-0 in the 1/8 round after getting a bye in her opening round.
In track and field, Tintu was the lone Indian athlete in action on Wednesday.
She started off well but her strategy backfired to finish with a timing of 2:00.58 minutes in Heat 3. Tintu finished overall 29th in the qualification round.
The qualification round was topped by Canada’s Melissa Bishop followed by Marina Arzamasova of Belarus and Habitam Alemu of Ethiopia respectively at second and third spots.
Another Indian in the fray is woman golfer Aditi Ashok, whose first Round is currently underway.