“Tere saath tiranga hai,
Ye vijay ka udghosh hai!
Tu thaan le, tu thaan le,
Ab jeet ko anjaam de!”
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.
Here's the official theme song for #Tokyo2020
Tune in to the melody of the Olympic Theme Song crafted for the Indian Olympic Contingent #TuThaanLey sung by @_MohitChauhan @PrakashJavdekar @IndiaSports@Media_SAI @KirenRijiju@Tokyo2020#OlympicsKiAasha #Cheer4India pic.twitter.com/3JURaxi0IY
— MIB India 🇮🇳 #We4Vaccine (@MIB_India) June 24, 2021
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.
|Men’s Individual||Atanu Das||29|
|Pravin Ramesh Jadhav||25|
|Women’s Individual||Deepika Kumari||27|
|Men’s Team||Atanu Das||29|
|Pravin Ramesh Jadhav||25|
|Mixed Team||Deepika Kumari||27|
|Women’s Individual||Pranati Nayak||26|
|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|
|Men’s 20km Race Walk||KT Irfan||31|
|Men’s 50km Race Walk||Gurpreet Singh||37|
|Men’s 4x400m Relay||Amoj Jacob||23|
|Noah Nirmal Tom||26|
|Muhammed Anas Yahiya||26|
|Women’s 100m||Dutee Chand||25|
|Women’s Discus Throw||Kamalpreet Kaur||25|
|Women’s Javelin Throw||Annu Rani||28|
|Women’s 20km Race Walk||Bhawna Jat||25|
|4x400m Relay Mixed||Alex Antony||26|
|Men’s Singles||B Sai Praneeth||28|
|Women’s Singles||PV Sindhu||26|
|Men’s Doubles||Satwiksairaj Rankireddy||20|
|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|
|Eventing Individual||Fouaad Mirza||29|
|Women’s Sabre Individual||CA Bhavani Devi||27|
|Men’s Individual Stroke Play||Anirban Lahiri||34|
|Women’s Individual Stroke Play||Aditi Ashok||23|
|Men’s Hockey||Surender Kumar||27|
|Vivek Sagar Prasad||21|
|Rupinder Pal Singh||30|
|Lalit Kumar Upadhyay||27|
|Women’s Hockey||Sharmila Devi||19|
|Deep Grace Ekka||27|
|Women’s 48 kg||Shushila Devi Likmabam||26|
|Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls||Jat Arjun Lal||24|
|Men’s Dinghy Laser||Vishnu Saravanan||22|
|Men’s Skiff – 49er||KC Ganapathy||25|
|Women’s Dinghy Laser Radial||Nethra Kumanan||23|
|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|
|Skeet Men||Angad Vir Singh Bajwa||25|
|Mairaj Ahmad Khan||45|
|10m Air Rifle Women||Apurvi Chandela||28|
|50m Rifle 3 Positions Women||Anjum Moudgil||27|
|10m Air Pistol Women||Manu Bhaker||19|
|Yashaswini Singh Deswal||24|
|25m Pistol Women||Manu Bhaker||19|
|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|
|Men’s Singles||Achanta Sharath Kamal||39|
|Women’s Singles||Manika Batra||26|
|Mixed Doubles||Achanta Sharath Kamal||39|
|Women’s Doubles||Sania Mirza||34|
|Women’s 49kg||Mirabai Chanu Saikhom||26|
|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!”
DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author