Rio de Janeiro | After drawing a blank over the first six days vis–vis opening the coveted medal chest, India would be keenly watching action on day seven at the Rio Olympics Friday with Blue Riband athletics events making its bow.
It was a largely disappointing sixth day yesterday in which shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth shone even as the mens hockey team lost in the league and yet made it to the quarter finals after 36 years.
There were setbacks in womens archery where Deepika Kumari and L Bombayla Devi bowed out at the pre quarter final stage leaving male archer Atanu Das as the lone person standing to make amends today when he takes on formidable South Korean rival S Lee for a place in the last eight in the individual elimination phase.
Both Indias doubles teams Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa (women) and Manu Attri-B Sumeeth Reddy (men) have a chance today to atone for their losses yesterday in their opening league encounters.
Jwala and Ashwini will be up against E Muskens/S Piek of The Netherlands, while the mens duo are set to cross swords with W Hong/B Chai of China.
These are must-win games as otherwise they will almost certainly be eliminated ahead of their third and last league clashes tomorrow.
Shooters, who have been a major disappointments, will resume action on the range with London Games bronze winner Gagan Narang set to try his luck in the mens 50m Rifle Prone Qualification along with Chain Singh.
In skeet, Mairaj Ahmed Khan will make his appearance while theres Indian interest in the mens 25m rapid fire qualification with Gurpreet Singh in action.
In mens hockey, India will take on Canada in their concluding pool game while golfers Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia will try to make amends for a below par show yesterday in the four-day stroke-play competition.
Athletics will see Indian athletes compete in both track and field events, apart from 20km race walk in which Gurmeet Singh, Manish Singh Rawat and Ganapathi Krishnan have been entered.
Mohammed Anas (400m) and Jinson Johnson (800m) will take part in first round heats while veteran Vikas Gowda (mens discus) and Manpreet Kaur (womens shot put) would complete the line-up for the day in athletics.
In men’s rowing Dattu Baban Bhokanlal, already out of medal contention, would conclude his campaign by taking part in the C/D semi finals of the single sculls event to get a final placing.
As the day would draw to a close former Asian Games champion Vikas Krishan would fight with Sipal Onder (Turkey) in the men’s 75 kg category to see who, between them, advances to the quarter finals.