The 2020 Tokyo Olympics which was delayed by a year due to the raging Coronavirus pandemic is all set to begin from in less than a week’s time. In the 32nd edition of the quadrennial games, India is sending its most number of athletes, 119, in its official contingent. Previously, India’s largest contingent record was set at the Rio Olympics, with 117 athletes landing on the shores of Rio de Janeiro. Five years later, India has bettered its record by two. The Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra announced in an interview on Tuesday, July 13 that India will send a 228-strong contingent (including officials) to the Tokyo Olympics.
There are 67 male athletes and 52 female athletes among the 119 competitors.
The Indian contingent has an average age of 26.999 years. Mairaj Ahmed Khan (men’s skeet shooting), 45, will be the oldest of the bunch. Tejaswini Sawant and Sanjeev Rajput (both 40, rifle 3-positions) are the only other athletes in their 40s, with table tennis great Achanta Sharath Kamal following suit at 39. Divyansh Singh Panwar, an 18-year-old rifle shooter, is the youngest of the 119, while the group includes six 19-year-olds, including pistol shooters Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker.
The IOA has named Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh and legendary boxer MC Mary Kom as India’s flag bearers for the opening ceremony while wrestler Bajrang Punia will be the flag bearer for India during the closing ceremony. In a first, India is having two flag-bearers — one male and one female — at the upcoming Tokyo Games to ensure “gender parity”. This was recently informed by IOA chief Narinder Batra.
MC Mary Kom, PV Sindhu, Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary, Ami Panghal, Vinesh Phogat, Mirabai Chanu and Deepika Kumari will be a few of India’s medal hopefuls at the games.
Here’s the full list of athletes and their events:
Archery kicks off India’s journey at the Tokyo Olympics and a total of four Indian archers have qualified for the event including women’s world number one archer Deepika Kumari. The 27-year-old who recently returned to the top rank after winning a hat-trick of gold medals in the World Cup Stage 3 in Paris will be looking for her maiden medal at the Games. She is the only Indian female archer who have qualified for this year’s Olympics.
Meanwhile, the men’s team — Atanu Das, Pravin Ramesh Jadhav, Tarundeep Rai will be taking part this year and the mixed team event is making its Olympics debut in Tokyo where Deepika Kumari will most likely pair with Atanu Das and the couple would hope to get a podium finish.
|Men’s Individual||Atanu Das||29|
|Men’s Individual||Pravin Ramesh Jadhav||25|
|Men’s Individual||Tarundeep Rai||37|
|Women’s Individual||Deepika Kumari||27|
|Men’s Team||Atanu Das||29|
|Pravin Ramesh Jadhav||25|
|Mixed team||Deepika Kumari / TBD*|
*Based on qualification rounds
Pranati Nayak booked her ticket to Tokyo after securing an Asian continental quota place for the Games following the cancellation of the 9th Senior Asian Championships.
Although 25 athletes have qualified for the Tokyo Games, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra is India’s best bet to secure a a medal in the track and field events. Discus throwers Seema Punia and Annu Rani may have an outside of winning a medal this year.
|Men’s 3000m 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 Javelin Throw||Shivpal Singh||26|
|Men’s 20km Race Walk||KT Irfan||31|
|Men’s 20km Race Walk||Sandeep Kumar||35|
|Men’s 20km Race Walk||Rahul||25|
|Men’s 50km Race Walk||Gurpreet Singh||37|
|Men’s 4 x 400m Relay||Amoj Jacob||23|
|Noah Nirmal Tom||26|
|Muhammed Anas Yahiya||26|
|Women’s 100m||Dutee Chand||25|
|Women’s 200m||Dutee Chand||25|
|Women’s Discus Throw||Kamalpreet Kaur||25|
|Women’s Discus Throw||Seema Punia||37|
|Women’s Javelin Throw||Annu Rani||28|
|Women’s 20km Race Walk||Bhawna Jat||25|
|Women’s 20km Race Walk||Priyanka||25|
|4 x 400m Relay Mixed||Alex Antony||26|
PV Sindhu is going to be India’s best bet for medal in the discipline and the Hydreabadi shuttler would hope to upgrade her medal to gold this time around. Apart from Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth has qualified in the men’s singles category, while Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have qualified for the men’s doubles category.
|Men’s Singles||B Sai Praneeth||28|
|Women’s Singles||PV Sindhu||26|
|Men’s Doubles||Satwiksairaj Rankireddy||20|
This could be that sport for India that helps it reach the double figure mark in medals tally at the Olympic games. MC Mary Kom and Amit Panghal lead India’s nine-pugilist strong contingent. Both these boxers have been in immense form in the recent past and could actually win medal after the sport drew blank last Olympics. Pooja Rani, Lovlina Borgohain and Vikas Krishan too stand a chance to win medals this year.
|Men’s Fly (48-52kg)||Amit Panghal||25|
|Men’s Light (57-63kg)||Manish Kaushik||25|
|Men’s Welter (63-69kg)||Vikas Krishan Yadav||29|
|Men’s Middle (69-75kg)||Ashish Kumar||27|
|Men’s Super Heavy (+91kg)||Satish Kumar||32|
|Women’s Fly (48-51kg)||MC Mary Kom||38|
|Women’s Light (57-60kg)||Simranjit Kaur Baatth||26|
|Women’s Welter (64-69kg)||Lovlina Borgohain||23|
|Women’s Middle (69-75kg)||Pooja Rani||30|
Fouaad Mirza is only the third ever Indian equestrian to participate in the Olympics after Indrajeet Lamba in 1996 and Imtiaz Anees in 2000. India has never won a medal at this event. And that’s why, Fouaad is a fresh ray of hope.
CA Bhavani Devi is the first Indian fencer to have qualified for the Olympic Games. She achieved this unique feat through the World Cup in Hungary after the hosts lost in the quarterfinals of the team event, allowing South Korea to progress to the semi-final. As a result, Bhavani Devi qualified through the Adjusted Official Ranking method.
Anirban Lahiri, Udayan Mane and Aditi Ashok have qualified for Tokyo Olympics. While this is going to be Lahiri and Ashok’s second Olympic games, Mane secured his maiden Olympic berth. The 30-year-old Mane, currently the second-highest ranked Indian in the world at 356, made the cut for his maiden Olympics after Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo announced withdrawal from the quadrennial event
|Men’s Individual Stroke Play||Anirban Lahiri||34|
|Men’s Individual Stroke Play||Udayan Mane||30|
|Women’s Individual Stroke Play||Aditi Ashok||23|
India have drawn blank in hockey for more than 40 years now in an event that has fetched as many as eight gold medals in the men’s event prior to 1980. Could this be the year when India finally live up to their potential and end the long wait? Well, according to a host of former players and coaches this could well be the year when we could see the Indian tri-colour fly high.
As for the women’s team, this is for the first time that they have qualified for back-to-back Olympic Games. Qualifying for Rio Olympics in 2016 was a dream as it put an end to a 36-year wait to reach the showpiece event. They finished bottom of the table last time around and Rani and her girls would be hoping for a better show this year.
|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|
Indian judoka Sushila Devi qualified for the Tokyo Olympics through the continental quota. This will be the 26-year-old’s first participation at the Olympics. Only one athlete per NOC (National Olympic Committee) per division can qualify.
Indian rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh qualified for the Olympics in men’s lightweight double sculls event after finishing second in the final race of the Asia/Oceania Continental Qualifying Regatta.
|Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls||Jat Arjun Lal||24|
|Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls||Arvind Singh||25|
In a historic first for India, four sailors from the country will compete at this year’s Olympics after Vishnu Saravanan and the pair of Ganapathy Chengappa and Varun Thakkar made the cut after Nethra Kumanan. Kumanan became the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics in the laser radial event in the Mussanah Open Championship, which was an Asian Olympic qualifying event.
|Men’s One Person Dinghy - Laser||Vishnu Saravanan||22|
|Men’s Skiff - 49er||KC Ganapathy||25|
|Men’s Skiff - 49er||Varun Thakkar||26|
|Women’s One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial||Nethra Kumanan||23|
It is safe to say that this is India’s safgest bet for an Olympic medal. With an almost perfect mix of yout and experience Indian shooters will arrive in Tokyo with huge expectations on theri shoulders. However, that shouldn’t be a proble keeping in mind their impressive performances in the ISSF World Cups.
Elavenil Valarivan, Saurabh Chaudhary, Divyansh Singh Panwar, Manu Bhaker are runaway favourites to shoot medals for India in this sport.
Bhaker will compete in the women’s 25m pistol event alongside Rahi Sarnobat, as well as her favourite 10m air pistol event with Yashaswini Singh Deswal.
She’ll also compete in the mixed team event with Saurabh Chaudhary, with whom she’s had a successful World Cup run. In both of his events, Chaudhary is one of the medal favourites.
|10m Air Rifle Men||Deepak Kumar||33|
|10m Air Rifle Men||Divyansh Singh Panwar||18|
|50m Rifle 3 Positions Men||Sanjeev Rajput||40|
|50m Rifle 3 Positions Men||Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar||20|
|10m Air Pistol Men||Saurabh Chaudhary||19|
|10m Air Pistol Men||Abhishek Verma||31|
|Skeet Men||Angad Vir Singh Bajwa||25|
|Skeet Men||Mairaj Ahmad Khan||45|
|10m Air Rifle Women||Apurvi Chandela||28|
|10m Air Rifle Women||Elavenil Valarivan||21|
|50m Rifle 3 Positions Women||Anjum Moudgil||27|
|50m Rifle 3 Positions Women||Tejaswini Sawant||40|
|10m Air Pistol Women||Manu Bhaker||19|
|10m Air Pistol Women||Yashaswini Singh Deswal||24|
|25m Pistol Women||Manu Bhaker||19|
|25m Pistol Women||Rahi Sarnobat||30|
|10m Air Pistol Mixed Team*||Divyansh Singh PanwarElavenil Valarivan|
|10m Air Pistol Mixed Team*||Deepak KumarAnjum Moudgil|
|10m Air Rifle Mixed Team*||Saurabh ChaudharyManu Bhaker|
|10m Air Rifle Mixed Team*||Abhishek VermaYashaswini Singh Deswal|
*Events / teams not confirmed on the official site yet, this is as per India’s original selection
Swimmers Srihari Nataraj and Sajan Prakash qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after they achieved Olympic Qualification Timing (OQT) ‘A’ level recently. Prakash was the first Indian swimmer to qualify. Meanwhile, Maana Patel qualifieded through Universality quota. She was the first female Indian swimmer to qualify for the Tokyo Games.
|Women’s 100m Backstroke||Maana Patel||21|
|Men’s 200m Freestyle||Sajan Prakash||27|
|Men’s 100m Backstroke||Srihari Nataraj||20|
|Men’s 100m Butterfly||Sajan Prakash||27|
|Men’s 200m Butterfly||Sajan Prakash||27|
From the Asian Olympic Qualification event in Doha earlier this year, Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra, G Sathiyan, and Sutirtha Mukherjee qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in singles.
The most significant quota news came from Sharath and Batra, who shocked the top seeds in mixed doubles. While Sathiyan and Sutirtha won their respective categories in the South Asian Group, securing quota seats, Sharath and Batra were the highest-ranked second-placed players, securing Tokyo tickets.
|Men’s Singles||Achanta Sharath Kamal||39|
|Men’s Singles||Sathiyan Gnanasekaran||28|
|Women’s Singles||Manika Batra||26|
|Women’s Singles||Sutirtha Mukherjee||25|
|Mixed Doubles||Achanta Sharath Kamal||39|
India won its only medal in this sport when LEander Paes clinched bronze medal back in 1996 Games, since then it has been a dry spell for India at the Games. Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina were the first to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and on July 16, Sumit Nagal made the cut for the men’s singles event of the Tokyo Olympics. The All India Tennis Association (AITA) after which promptly paired him with Rohan Bopanna for the men’s doubles competition by withdrawing Divij Sharan’s nomination.
Former world champion Mirabai Chanu is one of India’s early medal hopes.
India would be hoping to continue its habit of clinching at least one medal in Olympics when this year’s Games begin. Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia and Ravi Kumar are seeded in their respective categories. Vinesh, the top seed in the 53kg category, has won gold medals in all of the events she has competed in so far in 2021, ahead of local favourite Mayu Mukaida of Japan.
Bajrang and Deepak are seeded second in the 65kg and 86kg categories, respectively, while Ravi is seeded fourth in the 57kg category.
India had won eight quota berths, but one had to be surrendered due to Sumit Malik’s positive drug test.
|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|
(With PTI inputs)