So far, India has only won 28 medals in the 24 Olympic Games that it has participated in since 1900. Of these, 9 were gold, 6 silver, and 11 were bronze. In 2016, India, with more than a billion population, only managed to win two medals—none of them gold—at the Rio Games.
Despite the debacle in 2016, the future looks bright as our entire country is finally waking up to sports, besides Cricket. A lot of new medal prospects have emerged in the last few years, and we are going to look at top eight medal prospects for Tokyo Olympics 2020.
1PV Sindhu (Badminton)
Sindhu become a nationwide sensation when she claimed silver at Rio, at the age of 21. There is no reason that she can’t repeat the feat in Tokyo. Arguably, she is a much better player now than she was two years ago. She is among consistently among the top five players in the world. She has won two Super Series titles, including the BWF one, in December 2018.
She is a contender for a medal at Tokyo, and all she would need is a bit of luck in the draws.
2Indian Men’s Hockey Team
For a period of time, it looked like Hockey is dying in India. However, the last years have given a new lease of hope to Indian Hockey fans. We made it to the quarterfinals in Rio 2016 after a gap of 36 years. We hosted the World Cup, last year, and we will be favourites for a place on the podium in the Tokyo Olympics.
3Shiva Thapa (Boxing)
There is no doubt that we are a force to reckon with in amateur boxing. Vijendra Singh and Mary Kom have already made us proud, and we can expect more glory in 2020. Shiva Thapa, who is the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for Olympics, has bowed out in the first round in last two editions. However, he is currently ranked number three in his weight category and he is a top medal prospect for us.
Over the years, the likes of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar have claimed medals in Olympics. However, in 2016, the 12-member team could only draw a blank. The 2020 Olympics will introduce mixed-team events in shootings, and we should benefit from this development. At present, we have a number of world-class shooters, and it is expected that this development will help us win more than one medal in shooting in 2020.
Top medal hope from Manu Bhaker
The youngest Indian to win a gold at the ISSF World Cup, Manu Bhaker is another name in this elite list. This young Indian shooter is a junior and senior champion in 10 meters Air Pistol. The gold she won at the 2018 Commonwealth Games also crowned her with new Commonwealth record in the 10 meters pistol category. Currently, she is in a marvellous form and she will definitely give a tough fight to her opponents in Tokyo.
5Saikhom Mirabai Chanu
Hailing from Manipur, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is an Indian weightlifter. She came in the spotlight when she bagged gold at the World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, United States. Chanu can be considered one of the only Indian weightlifter with a chance to bag gold at the 2020 Olympics.
At the 21st Commonwealth Games, she broke the Commonwealth record five times in a total of six attempts done by her. If she continues her outstanding performance. she can be taken for sure in the 48 kg category.
The first Indian woman wrestler to win gold in the Asian Games, Vinesh Phogat was not so much known before 2018. Last year came with a lot of fame for Vinesh. She won gold at two major tournaments, the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games. At the Rio Olympics, she got a serious injury on her knee which kept her out of the wrestling arena.
The first Indian athlete to win gold in a track event at the IAAF World U20 Championship, Hima Das is nicknamed as “Dhing Express” and is also one of the medal favourite athletes in the 2020 Olympics. Hailing from the state of Assam, Hima showed her worth a couple of times last year in international tournaments. Hima has bagged three medals at the Asian Games including two silver and one gold.
Hailing from Panipat, Haryana, Neeraj Chopra is a 24 years old Indian track & field athlete who represents the country in the javelin throw. Neeraj is currently enjoying an excellent growth in his career. He bagged gold at the Commonwealth Games 2018.
The distance of 86.47 m he threw won India the first ever Gold in the javelin at CWG. He also went on winning gold at the Asian Games 2018 setting a new national record of 88.06 meters. Neeraj is a medal favourite for the Tokyo Olympics.
If you think we missed out any other prospects, please do leave your comments below in the comments section.
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