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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Arriving at the Olympics the Hindustani way!

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     “Tere saath tiranga hai, 

      Ye vijay ka udghosh hai! 

      Tu thaan le, tu thaan le, 

      Ab jeet ko anjaam de!”

 

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As India’s official theme song for Tokyo Olympics sung by Mohit Chauhan goes, with hope and ardour in the hearts the Indian contingent is all set to herald the country’s brilliant performance in the games.

Having 119 athletes, the 228-strong team for the Tokyo Olympics is officially India’s largest ever contingent to set out for the games. With 67 male and 52 female participants, and an unprecedented number of 6 athletes crowned Number 1 in the world in their fields, the country is looking forward to a shower of medals once the events commence from the 23rd of this month.

India’s campaign will start on the very first day with the archery qualification rounds, in which recently ranked world Number 1 Deepika Kumari will look to end her long wait for an Olympics medal. In the track and field events as well, way beyond the other 24 contenders, all eyes will be on javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra who is currently being seen as the brightest prospect to cease India’s long standing expectation for an Olympic medal in athletics.

With reigning world champion PV Sindhu and world championship bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth, along with rising doubles stars Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, there are hopes of the country claiming a hat trick of medals in the badminton events. The 26 year old Sindhu, who won the silver medal at Rio Olympics, will be bidding to become only the second athlete after Sushil Kumar to win two individual Olympic medals. Though the badminton contingent has shrunk in size from that of Rio with star studded names like Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi, HS Prannoy, and Ashwini Ponnappa among others missing out, the horizon continues to look gold strewn for the said sport.

Similarly, the boxing contingent this time features a record nine pugilists and hopes are high. In the spotlight will be six time boxing world champion and 2012 bronze medallist Mary Kom, who is also the flag bearer of the Indian contingent for the opening ceremony, for whom the Olympic gold is not too far away. Eyes will also be on Amit Panghal who has been in fine form on the circuit.

Flying above all obstacles just like his beloved horse Dajara 4, Fouaad Mirza has become the third Indian equestria after Indrajit Lamba and Imtiaz Anees to secure an individual spot in an equestrian event at the Olympics. Even though he has not enjoyed the limelight for long, Mirza had ended India’s 36 year old medal drought at the Asian Games by winning a silver at Jakarta 2018 and has a fair chance of repeating the achievement in these Games.

In a moment to remember forever, CA Bhavani Devi created history when she became not only the first woman sabre fencer but also the first ever Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics. In yet another achievement, in artistic gymnastics, Pranati Nayak will be the second Indian woman gymnast to participate in the Olympics after Dipa Karmakar made history at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Going down in the golden pages of history will also be Nethra Kumanan, who has qualified for the Games as the first ever Indian woman sailor. India will also be competing in more than one sailing event for the first time.

Yet another historical feat was achieved when clocking 1:56:38 seconds in the men’s 200m butterfly event in Rome, Sajan Prakash became the first ever Indian swimmer to earn a direct Olympic qualification. Like Prakash, Srihari Nataraj has also earned an ‘A’ level in Olympics Qualification Timing and hence is a fan favourite.

Although tennis has become a heart breaker even before the initiation of the Games as India will be contending only in the women’s doubles event, Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina have a fair chance of bringing back the Moscow 1980 joy to the country. In table tennis the presence of two highest ranked second-placed players, Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra also brings rays of delight and anticipation.

India’s biggest hope for multiple medals at Tokyo 2020, the shooting squad will feature World Number 1 in her category Elavenil Valarivan among a number of veterans. Ranked World Number 2 Saurabh Chaudhary, who will be partnered by Yashaswini Singh Deswal in the mixed events, also starts out as one of India’s bets for a medal in the events. Star Manu Bhaker is also expected to defy all odds and shoot for glory.

Former World Champion and current Number 4, Mirabai Chanu, who has a world record of lifting 119 kg in clean and jerk, will also be carrying the country’s expectations for an early medal in the Games. In wrestling as well, serious bets like Vinesh Phogat, who has clinched gold in all the events she took part this year, Bajrang Punia and Deepak Punia will be riding plenty of hopes.

For other events like golf, rowing, judo and the sport that gave India her proverbial Olympics golden era, hockey, as well the athletes are in their best grits to feature in podium finishes.

 

Event Athletes’ Name Age
Archery
Men’s Individual Atanu Das 29
Pravin Ramesh Jadhav 25
Tarundeep Rai 37
Women’s Individual Deepika Kumari 27
Men’s Team Atanu Das 29
Pravin Ramesh Jadhav 25
Tarundeep Rai 37
Mixed Team Deepika Kumari 27
Gymnastics
Women’s Individual Pranati Nayak 26
Athletics
Men’s 300m Steeplechase Avinash Mukund Sable 26
Men’s 400m Hurdles MP Jabir 25
Men’s Long Jump M Sreeshankar 22
Men’s Shot Put Tajinderpal Singh Toor 26
Men’s Javelin Throw Neeraj Chopra 23
Shivpal Singh 26
Men’s 20km Race Walk KT Irfan 31
Sandeep Kumar 35
Rahul 25
Men’s 50km Race Walk Gurpreet Singh 37
Men’s 4x400m Relay Amoj Jacob 23
P Naganathan 25
Arokia Rajiv 30
Noah Nirmal Tom 26
Muhammed Anas Yahiya 26
Women’s 100m Dutee Chand 25
Women’s 200m
Women’s Discus Throw Kamalpreet Kaur 25
Seema Punia 37
Women’s Javelin Throw Annu Rani 28
Women’s 20km Race Walk Bhawna Jat 25
Priyanka 25
4x400m Relay Mixed Alex Antony 26
Sarthak Bhambri 22
Revathi Veeramani 23
Sudha Venkatesan 21
Badminton
Men’s Singles B Sai Praneeth 28
Women’s Singles PV Sindhu 26
Men’s Doubles Satwiksairaj Rankireddy 20
Chirag Shetty 24
Boxing
Men’s Fly Amit Panghal 25
Men’s Light Manish Kaushik 25
Men’s Welter Vikas Krishan Yadav 29
Men’s Middle Ashish Kumar 27
Men’s Super Heavy Satish Kumar 32
Women’s Fly MC Mary Kom 38
Women’s Light Simranjit Kaur Baatth 26
Women’s Welter Lovlina Borgohain 23
Women’s Middle Pooja Rani 30
Equestrian
Eventing Individual Fouaad Mirza 29
Fencing
Women’s Sabre Individual CA Bhavani Devi 27
Golf
Men’s Individual Stroke Play Anirban Lahiri 34
Udayan Mane 30
Women’s Individual Stroke Play Aditi Ashok 23
Hockey
Men’s Hockey Surender Kumar 27
Birendra Lakra 31
PR Sreejesh 33
Vivek Sagar Prasad 21
Amit Rohidas 28
Nilakanta Sharma 26
Dilpreet Singh 21
Gurjant Singh 26
Hardik Singh 22
Harmanpreet Singh 25
Mandeep Singh 26
Manpreet Singh 29
Rupinder Pal Singh 30
Shamsher Singh 23
Sumit 24
Lalit Kumar Upadhyay 27
Women’s Hockey Sharmila Devi 19
Deep Grace Ekka 27
Vandana Katariya 29
Gurjit Kaur 25
Navjot Kaur 26
Navneet Kaur 25
Lalremsiami 21
Monika Malik 27
Neha Goyal 24
Nisha Warsi 26
Nikki Pradhan 27
Sushila Chanu 29
Rani Rampal 26
Savita Punia 31
Salima Tete 19
Udita Duhan 23
Judo
Women’s 48 kg Shushila Devi Likmabam 26
Rowing
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls Jat Arjun Lal 24
Arvind Singh 25
Sailing
Men’s Dinghy Laser Vishnu Saravanan 22
Men’s Skiff – 49er KC Ganapathy 25
Varun Thakkar 26
Women’s Dinghy Laser Radial Nethra Kumanan 23
Shooting
10m Air Rifle Men Deepak Kumar 33
Divyansh Singh Panwar 18
50m Rifle 3 Positions Men Sanjeev Rajput 40
Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar 20
10m Air Pistol Men Saurabh Chaudhary 19
Abhishek Verma 31
Skeet Men Angad Vir Singh Bajwa 25
Mairaj Ahmad Khan 45
10m Air Rifle Women Apurvi Chandela 28
Elavenil Valarivan 21
50m Rifle 3 Positions Women Anjum Moudgil 27
Tejaswini Sawant 40
10m Air Pistol Women Manu Bhaker 19
Yashaswini Singh Deswal 24
25m Pistol Women Manu Bhaker 19
Rahi Sarnobat 30
Swimming
Women’s 100m Backstroke Maana Patel 21
Men’s 100m Backstroke Srihari Nataraj 20
Men’s 200m Freestyle Sajan Prakash 27
Men’s 100m Butterfly
Men’s 200m Butterfly
Table Tennis
Men’s Singles Achanta Sharath Kamal 39
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran 28
Women’s Singles Manika Batra 26
Sutirtha Mukherjee 25
Mixed Doubles Achanta Sharath Kamal 39
Manika Batra 26
Tennis
Women’s Doubles Sania Mirza 34
Ankita Raina 28
Weightlifting
Women’s 49kg Mirabai Chanu Saikhom 26
Wrestling
Women’s Freestyle 50kg Seema Bisla 28
Women’s Freestyle 53kg Vinesh Phogat 26
Women’s Freestyle 57kg Anshu Malik 19
Women’s Freestyle 62kg Sonam Malik 19
Men’s Freestyle 57kg Ravi Kumar 23
Men’s Freestyle 65kg Bajrang Punia 27
Men’s Freestyle 86kg Deepak Punia 22

Earlier this year, Olympic analyst Gracenote had made a statistical projection that India will win eight medals in shooting, four in boxing, three in wrestling and one each in archery and weightlifting, taking the total tally to four golds, five silvers and eight bronze medals. And this was in April, when the complete list of qualifiers had not been out yet. But irrespective of whether or not the prediction turns out correct, the Indian warriors are here to fight.

Because whether India manages to achieve the astounding feat or not, our brilliant athletes shall continue to be winners. After all, like the country’s official cheer song by the legendary AR Rahman and equally amazing Ananya Birla, says—

     “Hey! The Hindustani way! 

      Jeet humari har nas mein!” 

 [author title=”Megha Satapathy” image=”http://goachronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/IMG_20210205_095950.jpg”]Journalist, Goa Chronicle

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Megha Satapathy
Megha Satapathy
"An orator, musician, bibliophile, and above all a nationalist. At 17, the author believes that anyone can make a difference in the universe, if they are daring enough!"

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