Asian Games 2022: Top Indian Athletes To Watch Out For
Star-studded Indian contingent is poised to make history in Hangzhou, China.
The 19th edition of the Asian Games is just around the corner, and is set to take place in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8, 2023. The quadrennial showpiece will see 61 sporting disciplines taking place across 56 venues..
A star-studded Indian contingent has travelled to Hangzhou which includes Olympic medalists, Commonwealth Games champions & Asian Games champions among others. Additionally, 19 Reliance Foundation (RF) athletes will take part in Hangzhou 2023 in various sports.
Neeraj Chopra: India’s Golden Boy
Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will be the face of the Indian contingent in Hangzhou. The 25-year-old javelin superstar clinched gold in Jakarta 2018, and will be eyeing a similar performance this time. Recently, he continued his stellar form, claiming India’s first gold at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Neeraj also sealed consecutive podium finishes in the Diamond League in Zurich and Eugene, finishing second in both events.
Lovlina Borgohain: Boxing’s Pride
Olympic bronze medalist and RF athlete Lovlina Borgohain will lead India’s medal charge in boxing. The fierce pugilist won the gold medal at the World Boxing Championships in New Delhi earlier this year, making her a formidable contender for gold in Hangzhou 2023. With her eye on the prize, she's set to go head-to-head with Olympic silver medalist Li Quan, whom she bested on her way to gold at the Delhi World Championships. Additionally, Lovlina will be the India’s flag-bearer along with Harmanpreet Singh at the opening ceremony of the showpiece event.
Bajrang Punia: India’s Grappling Sensation
Wrestler Bajrang Punia will be vying for his third medal at the Asian Games after winning gold in Jakarta 2018 and silver in Incheon 2014. The wrestling sensation made history at the Tokyo Olympics, claiming bronze in the men’s 65 kg category.
Mirabai Chanu: The Weightlifting Phenomenon
Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Mirabai Chanu will make her debut at the Asian Games after missing out in 2018 due to an injury. Having already won medals at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and the World Championships, the sensational weightlifter will look to add an Asian Games medal to her stellar collection. Speaking on the eve of the Asian Games, Mirabai was confident of her chances at the marquee event. "I'll give my best and not be afraid of any challenge. I am ready to face the competition from the Chinese lifters. I have worked hard for the Asiad and I also don't have any injury concerns." said Mirabai.
P.V. Sindhu: Badminton Queen’s Quest For Gold
India’s badminton superstar P.V. Sindhu is on a mission to claim the elusive gold at the Asian Games after claiming silver in Jakarta 2018, and bronze in Incheon 2014. Surprisingly, India has never won a gold medal at Asia’s biggest multi-sport event. Sindhu, who is a two-time Olympic medalist and a former world champion, will be one of India’s best bets to win a maiden gold medal in badminton at the Asian Games.
Men’s Hockey Team: A Legacy To Uphold
The Indian men’s hockey team will be one of the favourites to top the podium in Hangzhou 2023. The eight-time Olympic champions have won gold at the Asiad thrice, with their most recent victory coming in 2014. At the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, the men’s hockey team won a historic bronze, marking their first medal at the Olympics in 41 years. Twelve members from India’s Tokyo Olympics squad will take part in Hangzhou 2023. Harmanpreet Singh, P.R. Sreejesh and Manpreet Singh will be the key men in India’s medal challenge at the Asian Games.
Jyothi Yarraji: The Rising Star
India’s new sensation Jyothi Yarraji is set to make her debut at the Asian Games. The exceptional track and field athlete will compete in two events - women’s 100m hurdles and women’s 200m. Jyothi was crowned the Asian champion in July and claimed a bronze medal at the FISU World University Games with a national record timing of 12.78s in 100m hurdles. The Asian Champion isn’t feeling any nerves before the mega event, “Honestly, I am not feeling any pressure as of now ahead of my maiden Asiad. Let me see how things shape up when we reach the venue. But, I am ready for any kind of challenge.” she said.
Shiva Thapa: Young Prodigy To Proven Veteran
Hard-hitting boxer Shiva Thapa will look to leave his impression by sealing a podium finish in Hangzhou 2023. The talented athlete became the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics in 2012. Thapa has previously won a bronze medal at the World Championships in 2015, and a gold at the Asian Championships in 2011, which clearly showcase his capabilities.
Jinson Johnson: The Endurance King
Middle-distance runner Jinson Johnson, will be looking to replicate his performance from Jakarta 2018, where he clinched gold.
With a contingent full of experienced campaigners across multiple sports, India eyes its highest-ever medal tally at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. The nation eagerly anticipates the performances that will ignite pride and inspire the next generation of athletes.
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