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India at the Olympics: how we've fared over the years

Nikhil Kumar Verma | Updated on: 19 July 2016, 18:19 IST

The 2016 Summer Olympics are nearly upon us. Being held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil between 5 August 5 and 21 August, over 10,000 athletes from 206 countries are scheduled to take part in the gala event.

This year, the Indian contingent is made up of 122 players who will be competing in 14 sporting events.

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Here's a look at India's performance at the Olympics over the years:


  • The number of players representing India at the Olympics this year - the biggest ever contingent sent by India. Only 83 players participated in the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Of these, 38 players will compete in athletics; 32 in hockey and 12 in shooting events.
  • Seven players each have been shortlisted for wrestling and badminton; and four players each for archery, table tennis and lawn tennis.


  • The total number of medals won by Indians in the Olympics.
  • Of these, 11 medals (including 8 gold) were won in hockey.
  • At the London Olympics, India won two silver and four bronze medals.
  • Sushil Kumar is the only Indian player to have won medals in two consecutive Olympics games.
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  • The number of medals won by Norman Gilbert Pritchard, an athlete of Anglo-Indian origin, in the 1900 Paris Olympics. The medals remained in India's tally for years even though India's official debut in Olympics is considered to be in 1920 during the games held in Antwerp, Belgium. Four Indian players had represented the country that year.
  • KD Jadhav was the first Indian to win an Olympic medal after Independence in an individual sporting event during the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. He won a bronze in the freestyle wrestling category.


  • The number of gold medals won by India in Olympics. That laurel goes to ace shooter Abhinav Bindra, who hit the gold in 10-metre air rifle shooting competition during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
  • India has bagged only three silver medals in individual categories. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won a silver medal in 2004 Athens Olympics in shooting and shooter Vijay Kumar did the same at the London Olympics. Sushil Kumar won his for wrestling at the London Olympics.
  • India has succeeded in winning more than two medals only thrice (1952, 2008, 2012).


  • The number of years after which India secured an individual medal at the Olympics when wild card entrant Leander Paes won a bronze in lawn tennis during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
  • In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Karnam Malleswari won a bronze in weightlifting.
  • In all, 3 Indian women have won medals in Olympics - weightlifter Karnam Malleswari, badminton star Saina Nehwal and boxer MC Mary Kom.
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First published: 19 July 2016, 18:19 IST
Nikhil Kumar Verma @nikhilbhusan

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