A day after celebrating its first medal from the Games, India’s campaign here stuttered on Tuesday despite shuttler Parupalli Kashyap pulling off a remarkable upset while boxer Laishram Devendro Singh knocked out his rival to advance to the pre-quarter finals at the 2012 London Olympics.
The country’s medal quest suffered a serious setback with the fancied tennis doubles combination of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna biting the dust, while archers continued to disappoint, rowers faded without a ripple and the sole judoka and the only remaining weightlifter bid adieu after a forgettable outing.
Indians, who partied a day back after ace shooter Gagan Narang scooped up a bronze in the 10 metre air rifle event, saw the day begin on the right note as Kashyap progressed to the last eight in men’s singles. The 25-year-old displayed sublime skills to defeat tenth seed Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam 21-9, 21-14 in 39 minutes at the Wembley Arena to top Group D in style.
Throughout the match, the World No.21 was impressive at the net and steady from the back, hitting a mix of shots which befuddled his Vietnamese opponent.
The Indian will next face Group C topper Sri Lankan Niluka Karunaratne, whom Kashyap had beaten in Stockholm earlier this year in their only encounter.
In boxing, Devendro Singh made his way emphatically into the last 16 of the 49kg class with the referee stopping the contest in the first round. The RSC decision came just two minutes 24 seconds into the bout against Honduran Bayron Molina Figueroa, who was feeling dizzy after suffering some heavy blows from the Indian. Devendro next faces Serdamba Purevdorj of Mongolia.
Iconic tennis venue Wimbledon saw a heartbreak for the country. The ace men’s doubles tennis pair Bhupathi and Bopanna, who had revolted against the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to play together, failed to script any such success story on the famed grass court as they went down in straight sets 3-6, 4-6 to Frenchman Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau in the second round.
The other doubles contest between India’s Leander Paes-Vishnu Vardhan and the Netherland’s Robin Haase-Jean-Julien Rojer was postponed.
In the badminton contest at the Wembley Arena, Kashyap’s feat failed to inspire the mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V. Diju who lost their third consecutive group match to be ousted from the competition.
The Indian duo were comprehensively beaten 15-21, 15-21 by the world number 9 pair of Ha Jung Eun and Lee Yong Dae of South Korea to end fourth and last in Group D.
It was also a bittersweet result for women’s doubles pair of Jwala and Ashwini Ponappa as they brought their top game to win their last group B match against Shinta Mulia Sari and Lei Yao of Singapore but it wasn’t enough for them to progress to the quarterfinals.
The Indian duo, who lost their opening match, beat the Singaporean girls 21-16, 21-15 in just 31 minutes and finished third in the group.
Indian rower Sawarn Singh and the pair of Manjeet Singh and Sandeep Kumar are also out of medal contention and now will be looking to make a respectable finish in the semi-finals.
Sawarn qualified for the semi-final ‘C’ of the men’s singles scull where the rowers will be vying for a place between 13th to 18th.
Manjeet and Sandeep Kumar booked their place via a second repechage in semi-final ‘D’ of the lightweight doubles scull and will be looking for a finish between 19th-24th. They finished sixth in the repechage with a timing of 6:54.20.
The archery arena yet again proved unlucky for India. Its challenge in men’s individual came to an unceremonious end with all three participants crashing out in eliminators, while Chekrovolu Swuro suffered a similar fate in the women’s individual clash to join her team mate Bombayla Devi, who bowed out of contention a day back.
Teenage sensation Deepika Kumari, now World No.1, is the only Indian archer left in the competition.
Among the men’s archers on show Tuesday, Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai won their first knock out battles, but both failed to get their arrows in the right places as they went down in their respective second eliminators.
The other male representative Jayanta Talukdar and Swuro made their exits in the opening round.
India’s participation in the Olympic weightlifting event ended when Katulu Ravi Kumar finished sixth in Group B of the 69kg category. He lifted 303kg with 136kg in snatch and 167kg through clean and jerk.
The country’s only judoka Garima Chaudhary was knocked out of the Games when she lost to Japanese Yoshie Uenoi by a 1.21-minute Ippon in the opening round of the women’s 63 kg class.