365 days. That is how much time Indian athletes have in hand before the planet’s biggest sporting event, the Olympic Games, commences. Japan’s capital city of Tokyo, which has already hosted the Games back in 1964, will be looking forward to welcome over 11,000 athletes from around the world once again. The mega event, spread over two weeks, will host over 339 events in 33 sports. Among other firsts, the 2020 Olympics will have several new events like freestyle BMX, 3×3 basketball, and Madison cycling for the first time ever.
Can you feel the excitement that #Tokyo2020 is bringing?!?!
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 24, 2019
But How is India’s Preparation coming up?
Shooters will be the biggest medal hopefuls for the country with as many as 7 qualifying through individual quota places. Hopes will be high from the likes of Saurabh Chaudhary, Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil, Abhishek Verma, Rahi Sarnobat, Divyansh Singh Panwar, and Manu Bhaker.
The men’s recurve team of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das, and Praveen Jadhav have all qualified for the Games last month by finishing second at the World Championships. While the women’s archery team failed to book a berth, they will have a chance to go to Tokyo at the Asian qualification tournament in November.
As for Boxing, things will be much clearer once the men’s World Championships, which gets underway in Ekaterinburg, Russia, on September 7 this year, concludes. Among women’s contingent, India’s hopes, unsurprisingly, lie with Mary Kom who has been acing her new weight category of 51 kg with ease.
Hima Das has shown plenty of promise in the past few days, winning a marathon 5 gold medals in as little as 19 days after returning from a back injury. Although she is yet to hit her personal best, her performances will improve with more time on field.
Badminton has been a medal-provider for the country in the last two Games, but the same, unfortunately, may not hold true this time around with several of India’s top shuttlers struggling with form. Olympic bronze-medalist Saina Nehwal has been struggling with injuries, while PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth have been struggling with consistency. As for the qualifications, India’s final badminton representatives at the Olympics will be known only by May next year.
Lastly, the men’s and women’s hockey teams will be featuring in the Olympic qualifiers to be held in November to confirm their berths in the 2020 Olympics. Both the teams won their respective World Series held last month.
How are the preparations in Tokyo going on?
The officials at the 2020 Olympics have promised that the event will be a high-tech but eco-friendly affair. The 2020 Olympics is touted to be “a springboard for the creation of a new Tokyo.” However, the organisers are battling everything from fears over deadly heat to persistent questions hovering over the cost of the Games.But with the final countdown already beginning, things are expected to speed up.
More than half of the new permanent venues have been completed whereas the organisers say construction for the rest is on track.
The moment you have all been waiting for, your #Tokyo2020 Olympic Medals! 🥇🥈🥉
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 24, 2019
“One year to go, all of the excitement is growing here,” chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s coordination body, John Coates said on Tuesday.
Apart from the “unprecedented” ticket sales, he also informed that there were some 200,000 applications for just 80,000 volunteer positions, further showing the amount of excitement and enthusiasm for the 2020 Games.
Coates also praised Tokyo’s government’s support coming towards the final leg of the preparations. “We are very pleased that the delivery of the Games remains firmly on track,” he expressed.
How exactly will the show be “High-tech”?
The biggest concern for the organizers is the recurrence of a deadly heat wave that swept Japan last year. To counter the same, the engineers have employed an array of safety measures in case temperatures soar again.
The solutions range from misting towers to flower beds, all with a view of cooling down the atmosphere.