The mammoth action has begun as the Olympics get underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and some of the best in the sport have spoken out on who they think will win. India’s tennis players are all but certain of a gold medal for Novak Djokovic – the glory has eluded him so far.
Indian singles ace Saketh Myneni:
I do hope India wins some medals! Given the form of the Williams sisters, I expect both of them to win medals in singles and doubles. Meanwhile, I think Novak and Andy can outplay everyone and it’s very likely they will win.
Myneni is one of India’s highest-ranked singles players, and has won a number of titles on the ITF tour. He currently represents the country in the Davis Cup and was Rohan Bopanna’s initial choice of partner for Rio 2016.
Champion shuttler Parupalli Kashyap:
For me, Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Heena Sidhu, Shiva Thapa,Deepika Kumari, Yogeshwar Dutt and a few others from shooting, boxing and wrestling are the contenders. The Indian Men’s team alongwith Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna also stand a chance to win a medal.
I feel every athlete from India is in for a chance to win a medal. I was unseeded at the last Olympics and was one step away from a medal. So if that’s possible then anything is possible for every one of our athletes. I hope and wish everyone gets a medal.
One of India’s best badminton players, 29-year-old Parupalli Kashyap has won two Grand Prix Gold titles and won gold at the Commonwealth Games of 2014. He participated in the London Olympics in 2012, but was ousted in the quarter-finals - after becoming the first Indian man to reach that stage.
Experienced sports commentator Novy Kapadia
I think India can win medals in six sports.
1. Shooting: We have virtually everyone who can win a medal in shooting. I think this is, by far, the strongest Indian contingent that will be going to an Olympics. Every single shooter has managed to reach at least the final of the World Cup over the last two years. So, shooting is definitely our biggest bet for a medal/medals at Rio.
2. Women's archery team: They are strong contenders.
3. Badminton: Saina Nehwal is a really strong contender as well.
4. Boxing: It will be close for Vikas Krishan and Shiva Thapa, but you can't count them out.
5. Wrestling. Here we have Yogeshwar. And, I believe Vinesh Phogat is a very strong contender as well.
6. And lastly, tennis can also be another medal prospect for India.
One of the most well-known names in Indian hockey, 36-year-old Viren Rasquinha captained the side in the 2000s. He also found success in his capacity as a midfielder, but took an early retirement at the age of 28 to focus on management.
Rasquinha currently manages Olympic athletes via his company.