Hyderabad: India has sent the biggest ever contingent of 119 members, who will be participating in 18 disciplines during the Tokyo Olympics. India managed to get just two medals in the last Olympics at Rio de Janeiro. But this time, medal chances are bright and India is expected to touch double-digit number in medals.
What are the disciplines in which Indians will be participating
For the Tokyo Olympics, India has sent athletes in Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Equestrian, Fencing, Field Hockey, Golf, Gymnastics, Judo, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Weightlifting and wrestling.
Which is the biggest contingent from India
Apart from the team event like men’s and women’s hockey, athletics has the highest representation with 26 athletes competing in track and field for the first time. Shooting, with 15 members, is the second largest contingent from India to compete at the prestigious Games. Boxing will have nine pugilists, while wrestling will have seven.
In which sport, is India participating for the first time
For the first time in Indian Olympic history, India will field competitors in Fencing and Equestrian. CA Bhavani Devi (Fencing) and Fouaad Mirza (Equestrian) have made history by making the cut in these two events.
Who are the multiple Olympians from India participating in Tokyo Olympics
While there are many who are making their debut at Tokyo Olympics, Indian contingent also have a few veterans who participated in multiple editions. Table Tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sania Mirza will be competing in their fourth Olympics.
Table Tennis: Achanta Sharath Kamal will participate in both men’s singles and mixed doubles event with debutant Manika Batra
Lawn Tennis: Sania Mirza will compete in women’s doubles along with first-timer Ankita Raina.
Archery: Atanu Das will compete in his third Olympics while his wife Deepika Kumari in her second. Both will represent India in singles and mixed doubles event where they are strong medal contenders.
Badminton: PV Sindhu, the Rio Olympics silver medalist, will be in her second Games and she is hoping to win the elusive gold.
Boxing: Mary Kom, the six-time world champion, will be in her second Games. She won a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics but failed to make the cut for the Rio Games. Another boxer Vikas Krishan will be competing in his third Olympics on the trot.
Golf: Being introduced again in the Olympics in Rio Games last time, India will have Anirban Lahiri and Aditi Ashok playing in their second edition and hope to return with good performances.
Wrestling: Vinesh Phogat will be competing in her second Games. Having suffered an injury in quarterfinal stage in Rio Games, Vinesh is determined to return with a medal.
Who are the sports stars to watch out for
India is hoping to put up a better show this time. In the last Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, our country got just two medals – badminton silver from PV Sindhu and a wrestling bronze from Sakshi Malik. Here are the star contenders you should look out for.
Archery: World No.1 archer Deepika Kumari is a strong medal contender in singles events. She is partnering with her husband Atanu Das in the mixed team event where they have a high chance of returning with a medal. Both have won a gold in the team event in the recently-concluded Archery World Cup Stage 3.
Badminton: PV Sindhu is a top contender for a medal. Having won a silver in Rio, she is expected to finish on the podium. But the lanky shuttler revealed that she is eyeing the gold.
Boxing: Reigning world no.1 Amit Panghal (52kg category) is entering the field as No.1 seed and he is a strong contender to finish on the podium. Mary Kom, the 38-year-old veteran, is playing her final Games and enters the field as one of the favourites.
Wrestling: In Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, at least two medals are expected from the discipline. Both Bajrang (65kg) and Vinesh (53kg) enter the field as the top seeds and favourites for medals.
Hockey: Men’s hockey team is in red hot form recently and they are tipped to end the 41-year-old title drought at the Olympics, where India dominated with a record eight gold medals, including six straight titles.
Shooting: Shooting is one game where there are hopes of multiple medals. Mixed doubles duo of Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker in 10m air rifle is favourite to win the gold. They are in fine form and another team of Abhishek Verma and Yashaswini Singh Deswal are also strong contenders. In individual category, reigning world No.1 Elavenil Valarivan and Apurvi Chandela, Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma in 10m air pistol, Manu Bhaker and Yashaswi in 10m air pistol, Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat in women’s 25m pistol are primed to finish on the podium.
Weightlifting: Mirabai Chanu, who is the lone contender in this discipline, will be competing in the 49kg category. She enters the competition as the second seed and if she maintains form, she will return with a second weightlifting medal.
Athletics: Neeraj Chopra, who is tipped to be the next super star of Indian athletics, is currently vying for a podium finish. Neeraj, who has a throw of 88.07m, hopes to do better and end the medal drought.
Who are the Telugu athletes in Tokyo Games
There are four athletes from the Telugu speaking States in Indian contingent for the Tokyo Games. PV Sindhu and B Sai Praneeth will lead the Indian challenge in women’s and men’s singles respectively while Satiwksairaj Rankireddy will represent the country in men’s doubles, along with Chirag Shetty. Sania Mirza is the fourth Telugu athlete in tennis.
- Sindhu, who won badminton’s first ever silver medal, hopes to become the first to win a gold as well. She is the reigning world champion and handed a favourable draw in the league stage. With defending champion Caroline Marin not competing in Tokyo with injury, Sindhu has bright chances.
- B Sai Praneeth too handed a favourable draw in the league stage. However, the world championships bronze medalist faces tough opponents in later stages. If he can record a few upset victories, he is sure to return with a medal.
- Satwiksairaj, along with Chirag Shetty, will be playing his first Olympics and the youngster is keen to give his best. The pair is ranked 10 in the world but was clubbed with world no.1 and 3 pairs in the group stages.
- Sania Mirza, who is most probably competing in her last Games, along with Ankita Raina, looks to end medal drought. Sania and Ankita will compete in the women’s doubles tennis event. The draw is filled with top players but can’t rule out medal chances, if the Indian duo comes up with a strong show.
Olympics in Numbers
Total athletes: 127
Disciplines – 18
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