Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna
India's mixed doubles pair lost to US pairing of Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram in the semifinals.IANS

Eight days have passed, and India, who had gone to Rio with the hopes of returning with their best medals haul ever, are still waiting for their first podium finish. Day 8 also did not yield positive results for India, with long distance runner Lalita Babar being the only bright spot in Rio. The shooters once again disappointed, and the mixed doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna lost in the semifinals.

Lalita came up with a brilliant performance in the women's 3000m steeplechase, finishing fourth in Heat 2 with a timing of 9:19.76, which helped her qualify as one of the fastest losers in the event. She became the first Indian athlete to qualify for the finals of any track event since PT Usha in 1984, which explains the huge achievement.

But, another Indian, Sudha Singh, in the same event failed to qualify for the finals. Nirmala Sheoran failed to progress in the next round of the women's 400m after finishing with a timing of 53.03.

Talking about losses, India's shooters have been one of the major disappointments of the competition so far. Gurpreet Singh could not make it to the finals of the men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol. While Mairaj Ahmad Khan came close to qualification, he lost out for a place in the finals after losing in the shoot-off.

India women's hockey team looked off colour as they were outplayed in all departments of the game, as they lost to Argentina 5-0 in their last group match. With this result, India finished in last place on Group B without a single win in Rio.

In the tennis arena, India's best bet for a medal – mixed doubles pairing of Sania-Bopanna – failed to reach the finals of the event, after going down in a thrilling encounter against the US pairing of Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram. The score read USA 6-2, 2-6, 10-3. But, all is not over for the pair as they still have a chance of winning a medal as they are set to feature in the bronze medal match.

India doubles team in badminton had a mixed day, with Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy winning their last group match, but Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa failed to win their last game in Rio.

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