Who’re India’s strongest medal prospects on the Olympics?


The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will characteristic India’s largest, and arguably their strongest contingent ever on the Video games. Whereas the shooters are anticipated to usher in essentially the most variety of medals, there are sturdy contenders throughout many different disciplines. Listed here are our picks:

1. Saurabh Chaudhary

Occasion: 10m Air Pistol Particular person

Date: July 24

Positives

Chaudhary has been extremely constant over the previous two years — medalling in all however one competitors he is taken half in. He is completed on the rostrum in every of the 5 World Cups he is taken half in — successful two golds (New Delhi 2019, Munich 2019), one silver (New Delhi 2021), and two bronzes (Rio de Janeiro 2019, Osijek 2021). What stands out for the 19-year-old is that he is at all times made the finals comfortably — even his lowest rating in qualification since making his senior debut has been 581 (at Osijek 2021), which might seemingly be sufficient to make the ultimate in Tokyo.

Latest report

Choudhary’s most up-to-date competitors was the World Cup in Osijek, Croatia. Though he struggled (by his requirements) in qualification, he nonetheless shot a rating of 581, which might have certified him in fourth place on the Rio Olympics. He ultimately completed with a bronze.

Weak spot

There isn’t any apparent weak point. Maybe the one issue that would work towards him can be his inexperience within the largest stage — Choudhary has by no means taken half in a World Championship.

Key opponents

Iran’s Javad Fouroughi has change into a powerful contender for a medal in Tokyo. He’s in prime kind, having crushed Choudhary in each the World Cups (New Delhi and Osijek) the 2 have competed on this yr.

China’s Wei Pang, three-time Olympic finalist and two-time Olympic medallist, has additionally not competed in any worldwide match lately however is among the many medal contenders in Tokyo.


2. Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker

Occasion: 10m Air Pistol Combined Crew

Date: July 27

Positives

Much more dominant than Chaudhary within the particular person 10m pistol occasion is his pairing with Manu Bhaker within the combined workforce occasion. The pair has competed collectively six instances in World Cups and completed on the rostrum every time, successful 5 of the competitions outright. Most combined groups competing on the World Cup normally have one shooter who is way stronger than the opposite. Each Chaudhary and Bhaker are extremely sturdy shooters able to successful the person competitions outright themselves.

Latest report

By their excessive requirements, Chaudhary and Bhaker suffered an upset of kinds of their most up-to-date match — the World Cup in Osijek. They *solely* gained a silver, dropping to the Russian pair of Artem Chernousov and Vitalina Batsarashkina.

Weak spot

Each shooters are sturdy individually however they are going to be competing below immense strain of their first Olympics. Bhaker has typically struggled below strain and quite a bit would possibly rely upon how Chaudhary shoulders the additional burden.

Key opponents

The Russian pair of Artem Chernousov and Vitalina Batsarashkina, who handed the Indians their first defeat on the Osijek World Cup, would be the key threats in Tokyo.


3. Divyansh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan

Occasion: 10m Air Rifle Combined Crew

Date: July 27

Positives

Though they’ve solely paired collectively twice — within the 2021 New Delhi World Cup, the place they gained gold, and at this yr’s Osijek World Cup, the place they completed in sixth place — Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Panwar are amongst India’s finest hopes for a rifle medal. The 2 are the perfect Indian particular person shooters within the 10m air rifle class at current and are presently ranked World No. 1 of their particular person disciplines. Panwar has loads of expertise on the rostrum over the previous two years — successful two World Cup gold medals and a World Cup bronze in partnership with Anjum Moudgil in 2019.

Latest report

Though they gained gold in a depleted subject on the New Delhi World Cup, Panwar and Valarivan faltered on the Osijek World Cup, the place they had been eradicated within the second stage of qualification (QF) after uncharacteristically low scores by Panwar.

Weak spot

Though each are ranked excessive, their latest kind has been detached. Valarivan has typically struggled in large occasions. Though she was averaging 631 over the past two years, she shot a subpar 626.7 and 625.3 within the particular person occasions at dwelling on the 2021 and 2019 New Delhi World Cups. Panwar, one among India’s best-rated rifle shooters, would possibly discover himself having to shoulder a better proportion of the burden.

Key opponents

The Hungarian pair of Istvan Peni and Eszter Meszaros have been in sturdy kind in latest months, counting amongst their wins a gold medal at Osijek. Whereas Peni has often positioned on the rostrum over the past two years, he is discovered a superb associate within the 19-year-old Meszaros, who gained her first particular person World Cup title in Osijek.


4. Yashaswini Deswal and Abhishek Verma

Occasion: 10m Air Pistol Combined Crew

Date: July 27

Positives

Though they’ve been overshadowed by Chaudhary and Bhaker, the pair of Deswal and Verma are real medal contenders within the combined workforce occasion, having gained a silver and bronze medal in three appearances on the World Cup. On paper, Verma and Deswal are even stronger prospects than Chaudhary and Bhaker, being ranked World No. 1 within the males’s and ladies’s 10m pistol particular person classes.

Latest report

The pair gained a bronze earlier this yr on the New Delhi World Cup. At the newest competitors in Osijek, although, the duo completed exterior the rostrum for the primary time, dropping the bronze-medal playoff match to Iran.

Weak spot

Deswal’s qualification scores are on the decrease finish. If the duo are to make it previous the second qualification spherical and into the final 4, quite a bit would trip on Deswal’s performances.

Key opponents

Javad Foroughi’s kind this yr means that the Iranian combined workforce pair of him and Golnoush Sebghatollahi will likely be preventing for a spot within the final 4. Compatriots Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker in addition to the Russian pair of Artem Chernousov and Vitalina Batsarashkina will likely be obstacles to be overcome as properly.


5. Neeraj Chopra

Occasion: Males’s javelin throw

Date: Qualification on August 4 | Remaining on August 7

Positives

Though he missed most of 2019 on account of damage, Chopra has been extremely constant within the Olympic yr, routinely throwing the javelin across the 85m mark. In a sport the place performances can differ wildly, that could be a essential edge. Something round that mark would seemingly qualify him for the ultimate. On the day of the ultimate, if he throws something round or higher than his private better of 88.07m, Chopra stands an excellent probability of creating the rostrum.

Latest report

Chopra’s final competitors previous to the Olympics was the Kuortane Video games in Finland, the place he completed in third place with a powerful effort of 86.79m, ending forward of reigning world champion Anderson Peters.

Weak spot

Whereas Chopra’s power has been consistency in a subject not recognized for it, he should be at his highest if others carry out to their capacity too. Eleven of the athletes who’ve certified for Tokyo have a greater private finest than the Indian. Amongst athletes this yr, Chopra presently has the fourth-best throw.

Key opponents

Germany’s Johannes Vetter is the gold medal favorite this yr with a season’s better of 96.29m. The remainder of the rostrum, although, will see a troublesome combat between Chopra, former Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott (SB 89.12m) and Marcin Krukowski of Poland (SB 89.55m).


6. Mirabai Chanu

Occasion: Girls’s weightlifting (49kg)

Date: July 24

Positives

Mirabai Chanu will virtually definitely be the primary Indian weightlifter since Karnam Malleswari (in 2000) to win an Olympic medal. She’s a former World Champion and presently the fourth-ranked weightlifter in her division. Nevertheless, two of these ranked above her won’t be competing, that means she’s going to simply be the second-best lifter in her class in Tokyo. Mirabai additionally holds the clear and jerk world report in her class, which implies that even when she has a poor begin within the snatch occasion, she’s going to nonetheless have the ability to make up misplaced floor within the clear and jerk phase.

Latest report

Mirabai final competed on the 2021 Asian Championships in Tashkent, the place she lifted a private finest and new nationwide report of 205kg. She additionally set a brand new world report of 119kg within the clear and jerk phase.

Weak spot

In comparison with her clear and jerk elevate, which is the perfect on the earth, Mirabai has a comparatively common snatch elevate (PB 88kg). She additionally tends to overlook plenty of lifts at that weight, which places plenty of strain on her. At Tokyo, quite a bit would trip on the form of begin she will get within the snatch occasion.

Key opponents

The gold medal favorite within the ladies’s 49kg division will likely be China’s Hou Zhihui, who has lifted 213kg this season – eight kilograms greater than Mirabai. Ought to Mirabai have a powerful set of lifts within the snatch, she would possibly very properly threaten the Chinese language. Nevertheless, she also needs to be cautious of the USA’s Jourdan Delacruz, who has a private better of 200kg within the 49kg division. Delacruz, although, is able to extra — she has earlier lifted 207kg whereas competing within the 55kg division.


7. Ravi Dahiya

Occasion: Males’s freestyle wrestling (57kg)

Date: R-16 to SF on August 4 | Repechage and medal match on August 5

Positives

Though he is gained a bronze medal on the World Championships and is a two-time Asian Champion, Ravi Dahiya continues to be flying below the radar, overshadowed by Bajrang Punia. Dahiya has all of Punia’s benefits — key being top-of-the-line endurance ranges within the division. He’s additionally thought-about one of the vital technically-gifted wrestlers in his class, which permits him to win in a number of methods. Seeded fourth in Tokyo, he may even keep away from gold medal favorite Zaur Uguev (to whom he misplaced on the 2019 World Championships) till the finals.

Latest report

Dahiya competed most lately on the Asian Championships, the place he gained his second consecutive continental medal. Nevertheless, not one of the wrestlers he competed towards in that match will likely be competing in Tokyo.

Weak spot

Though Dahiya is without doubt one of the most well-rounded wrestlers within the division, it stays to be seen how he performs at a high-pressure match just like the Olympics.

Key opponents

At the least on kind and report, Dahiya ought to make the finals in Tokyo. His seeding means he’ll keep away from Russia’s Zaur Uguev till the finals. Dahiya additionally has a successful report towards 5 of the 16 contenders for a medal in Tokyo and a probable semi-final opponent — top-ranked Stevan Micic — has a loss to Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev — a wrestler Dahiya has crushed twice earlier than.


8. Bajrang Punia

Occasion: Males’s freestyle wrestling (65kg)

Date: R-16 to SF on August 6 | Repechage and medal match on August 7

Positives

Bajrang has been one of the vital profitable wrestlers on this Olympic cycle with two Worlds medals and an Asian Video games title over the past 4 years. His strain and stamina make him a serious risk to any opponent. His constant performances have earned him the second-seeded place in Tokyo, the place he’ll keep away from World Champion Ghadzimurad Rashidov till the ultimate.

Latest report

Bajrang competed most lately on the Ali Aliev match in Russia final month, the place he suffered a knee damage whereas trailing 0-4 within the semifinal. Bajrang, although, says he has recovered from the damage and has resumed coaching.

Weak spot

Bajrang’s relentless strain tires lesser opponents but additionally leaves him weak to fast opponents with ample conditioning. His ahead momentum typically leaves his legs weak, one thing that opponents have capitalised on previously.

Key opponents

Whereas he has prevented each Russia’s Ghadzimurad Rashidov and the mercurial Ismael Muszukajev of Hungary, the lads’s 65kg class continues to be stacked with expertise. Bajrang has already misplaced twice to Japanese expertise Takuto Otoguro and he’ll hope to keep away from him within the draw as properly.


9. Vinesh Phogat

Occasion: Girls’s freestyle wrestling (53kg)

Date: R-16 to SF on August 5 | Repechage and medal match on August 6

Positives

Phogat has been extremely constant over the previous few years. She is unbeaten this yr with gold medals on the Rome Rating sequence, the Asian Championships and the Poland Open. The pullout of world champion Pak Yong Mi has boosted her prospects as has the truth that she is the highest seed in Tokyo — probably avoiding a match towards her nemesis Mayu Mukaida till the ultimate.

Latest report

Phogat final competed within the Poland Open, the place she beat Worlds bronze medallist Ekaterina Poleschuk of Russia and solely conceded two factors over three matches.

Weak spot

Phogat is in wonderful kind and has ironed out most of her weaknesses. Nevertheless, she has admitted going through points along with her restoration from her weight minimize in her early matches and can hope she does not run into a powerful opponent early on.

Key opponents

As the highest seed, Vinesh will likely be favoured to at the very least make the ultimate in Tokyo, the place her seemingly opponent, Japan’s Mayu Mukaida, holds the benefit with a 3-0 report towards the Indian. Phogat would possibly face a difficult match in a possible semifinal towards China’s Pang Qianyu, who holds a 2-2 report towards the Indian. Phogat, although, has the newest win — within the 2019 Asian Championships.


10. PV Sindhu

Occasion: Badminton (Girls’s singles)

Date: Qualification rounds begin on July 24

Positives

Though she hasn’t had the best kind over the past couple of years, PV Sindhu gained the title that mattered — the 2019 World Championships. Sindhu is an enormous match participant and her path to a medal, probably a gold, bought simpler with reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin having to drag out on account of damage.

Latest report

The badminton calendar has been plagued as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, with few tournaments being held this yr. Sindhu although has proven indicators of discovering some kind in 2021, reaching the ultimate of the Swiss Open and beating former World No.1 Akane Yamaguchi to achieve the semifinals on the All England Open.

Weak spot

Sindhu does not have plenty of match apply going into the Olympics and probably has a difficult quarterfinal match towards Japan’s Yamaguchi. Regardless of holding an 11-7 report, Sindhu has misplaced a good variety of instances to the Japanese.

Key opponents

Sindhu ought to advance from the group stage simply, and can seemingly face Mia Blitchfeldt – an opponent she has a 4-1 report towards. A difficult match towards Yamaguchi within the quarters is likely to be adopted by a good harder one towards Tai Tzu Ying, who has a 13-5 report towards the Indian.


11. Amit Panghal

Occasion: Boxing (Males’s 52kg flyweight)

Date: Qualification rounds begin on July 26

Positives

Panghal is the highest seed in Tokyo, which might enhance his probabilities of a medal for the reason that prime eight seeds won’t meet till the quarterfinals — basically a medal bout. The Indian is probably the quickest boxer in his weight class, which makes up for his lack of attain. He is additionally in wonderful contact coming off a powerful efficiency within the Asian Championships, the place he misplaced a really shut bout to the reigning Olympic flyweight champion Shakhobidin Zoirov.

Latest report

Panghal final fought on the Asian Championships, the place he beat Worlds bronze medallist Saken Bibossinov by a large determination. He nonetheless misplaced a really tight 3-2 determination within the last to World and Olympic champion Zoirov.

Weak spot

Panghal is usually a gradual starter and sometimes finds himself having to play catch up after dropping the primary spherical. He typically falls into the entice of failing to throw sufficient punches — which may price him particularly if he comes up towards a powerful starter.

Key opponents

As the highest seed, Panghal ought to keep away from most tough opponents early on. Nevertheless, the character of the draw won’t be recognized till nearer to the competitors. Panghal’s key rivals are more likely to be World Bronze medallist Bilal Benama of France, Hu Jianguan of China — to whom he misplaced within the 2020 Olympic qualifiers, and the extremely spectacular youth world champion Thitisan Panmod of Thailand.



Supply hyperlink

Related Posts