One for Glory - A Lowdown on the Indian Contingent at the World’s Biggest Sporting Event.
The Olympics have long been regarded as the pinnacle of international sport. However, athletes all around the world have experienced significant training setbacks since the beginning of the past year. With the Tokyo Olympics 2020 being postponed a lot of uncertainty loomed as to when it would happen. But now, after over a year of lockdown, the sporting world is all set this weekend to witness the glitz and glam of the Olympic Games.
India’s tryst with the Olympics started in the 1900 Games, where we debuted with a two-medal haul. Since then, India has won 28 medals in individual as well as team sports. Fast forward to 2021, Tokyo will host the largest Indian sporting contingent ever, with 127 athletes competing in 18 sporting events as well as coaches, support staff, and officials bringing the total to a whopping 228.
Here’s a preview of the list of Indian athletes across different Olympic sporting categories who have booked their ticket to Tokyo to represent the nation:
The men's trio will also compete as a team at the Tokyo Olympics, while Deepika goes into the Games as the newly crowned world number one in her category. We can count her as a strong medal prospect in the Olympic Games.
- Tarundeep Rai, Men’s Recurve
- Atanu Das, Men’s Recurve
- Pravin Jadhav, Men’s Recurve
- Deepika Kumari, Women's Recurve
At the Tokyo Olympics, India's sprint ace Dutee Chand is set for her second Olympic appearance, while we also have two women discus throwers in the fray. The 4x100m mixed relay will be making its debut with the Asian Games gold-medallist, Muhammed Anas. Emerging Javelin Throwers Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh are arguably the two athletes who will have the eyes of a whole nation on them.
- KT Irfan, Men's 20km race walking
- Sandeep Kumar, Men's 20km race walking
- Rahul Rohilla, Men's 20km race walking
- Gurpreet Singh, Men's 50km race walking
- Bhawna Jat, Women's 20km race walking
- Priyanka Goswami, Women's 20km race walking
- Avinash Sable, Men's 3000m steeplechase
- Murali Sreeshankar, Men's long jump
- MP Jabir, Men's 400m hurdles
- Neeraj Chopra, Men's javelin throw
- Shivpal Singh, Men's javelin throw
- Annu Rani, Women's javelin throw
- Tajinderpal Singh Toor, Men's shot put
- Dutee Chand, Women's 100m and 200m
- Kamalpreet Kaur, Women's discus throw
- Seema Punia, Women's discus throw
- 4x400 Mixed Relay
- Men's 4x400m Relay
World champion PV Sindhu will be aiming to turn her silver medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics into gold and remains our top medal prospect at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Accompanying her will be B. Sai Praneeth in the men’s singles and the doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.
- PV Sindhu, Women’s singles
- B Sai Praneeth, Men’s singles
- Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, Men’s doubles
What began with a historic bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has continued to give the nation hope. The pugilists at this year’s Olympics games will aim to add to their medal haul from the Beijing Games and the 2012 London Olympics.
- Vikas Krishan (Men's, 69kg)
- Lovlina Borgohain (Women's, 69kg)
- Ashish Kumar (Men's, 75kg)
- Pooja Rani (Women's, 75kg)
- Satish Kumar (Men's, 91kg)
- Mary Kom (Women's, 51kg)
- Amit Panghal (Men's, 52kg)
- Manish Kaushik (Men's, 63kg)
- Simranjit Kaur (Women's, 60kg)
After Imtiaz Anees at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Fouaad Mirza is the first Indian equestrian to qualify for the Olympics in 20 years.
Sabre fencer Bhavani Devi created history by becoming the first Indian to qualify for Fencing at the Olympics.
India's participation in Golf at the Tokyo Olympics will feature Anirban Lahiri, Udayan Mane, and Aditi Ashok in the men’s and women's events respectively. Udayan, who made the cut as a replacement, will be making his Olympic debut.
Artistic Gymnast Pranati Nayak is only the second Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the 2020 Olympics and she will look to match her predecessor Dipa Karmakar’s stellar performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Hailed as one of the most successful nations in the history of the game in the Olympics, the men’s and women’s hockey teams would be looking to match the Indian team’s past glory.
- Men’s National Team (16-member squad)
- Women’s National Team (16-member squad)
Representing the nation as a sole participant will be Sushila Devi Likmabam.
- Arjun Jat
- Arvind Singh
The two rowers will represent India at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
It has been a series of firsts in Sailing for India with the Olympic contingent competing for three sailing events - Laser Radial, Laser Standard, and 49er - for the first time. In addition, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will have the greatest number of Indian sailors qualified for a single edition of the Olympics—we've never had more than two sailors compete in a single Olympics before. With India's first female sailor, Nethra Kumanan onboard, we can be certain that there is a lot to look forward to this year.
- Nethra Kumanan, Laser Radial
- Vishnu Saravanan, Laser Standard
- KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar, 49er
One of India's most successful Olympic sports, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will feature the country's highest representation in history, with up to 15 Indian shooters qualifying for the Games.
- Anjum Moudgil, 10m Women’s Air Rifle
- Apurvi Chandela, 10m Women’s Air Rifle
- Divyansh Singh Panwar, 10m Men’s Air Rifle
- Deepak Kumar, 10m Men’s Air Rifle
- Tejaswini Sawant, 50m Women’s Rifle 3 Position
- Sanjeev Rajput, 50m Men’s Rifle 3 Position
- Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar, 50m Men’s Rifle 3 Position
- Manu Bhaker, 10m Women’s Air Pistol
- Yashaswini Singh Deswal, 10m Women’s Air Pistol
- Saurabh Chaudhary, 10m Men’s Air Pistol
- Abhishek Verma, 10m Men’s Air Pistol
- Rahi Sarnobat, 25m Women’s Pistol
- Chinki Yadav, 25m Women’s Pistol (replaced by Elavenil Valarivan)
- Angad Veer Singh Bajwa, Men’s Skeet
- Mairaj Ahmad Khan, Men’s Skeet
Sajan Prakash became the first Indian to directly qualify for the Tokyo Olympics by earning the elusive 'A' cut in the run-up to the games. The historic feat was matched in many ways by Maana Patel, who became the first-ever woman swimmer to represent India at the Olympic Games.
- Sajan Prakash, men's 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly
- Srihari Nataraj, men's 100m backstroke
- Maana Patel, women's 100m backstroke
After earning their Olympic berths at the Asian qualifiers, Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra will compete together in the mixed doubles category at the Tokyo Olympics.
- Sharath Kamal
- Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
- Sutirtha Mukherjee
- Manika Batra
The tennis contingent will look to add to Leander Paes’s Bronze from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
- Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina, Women's Doubles
- Sumit Nagal, Men's Singles
Ranked second in the world, Mirabai Chanu, the sole Indian weightlifter in the fray, is among the favourites for a medal in the women's 49kg weight division of the 2020 Olympics.
Another strong contingent with a couple of medal prospects, the grapplers will look to better their contingent’s 2012 London Olympics performance through their strong 7-member team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
- Seema Bisla, Women's Freestyle, 50kg
- Vinesh Phogat, Women’s Freestyle 53kg
- Anshu Malik, Women's Freestyle 57kg
- Sonam Malik, Women's Freestyle 62kg
- Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Men’s Freestyle 57kg
- Bajrang Punia, Men’s Freestyle 65kg
- Deepak Punia, Men’s Freestyle 86 kg
Athletes from all around the world are vying for a position on the world's most prestigious podium. It's a battle for honour, glory, and history. Whose name will be etched in the books of history? Stay tuned to RFYS social media channels as we cheer for India in this journey to glory!