The much awaited Tokyo Olympics will begin on the 23rd of July. At this year's Games, a special focus has been given to gender inequality in a unique way.
In order to promote joint participation of male and female athletes, many new mixed team events have been introduced, in sports like athletics, shooting, archery, table tennis and swimming.
The introduction of these new mixed team events is a very welcome step, as it will encourage more women to participate in big sporting events. It will also encourage all countries to put equal trust in the development of women sportspeople alongside their male counterparts.
These mixed events will also help in increasing the camaraderie between male and female athletes across disciplines.
The introduction of these mixed events has also increased the medal prospects of many countries. They will be able to field their champion athletes in an additional mixed team event at the Tokyo Olympics.
One such country, whose medal prospects have greatly increased because of the introduction of these mixed events at the Tokyo Olympics, is India.
The Mixed Team Events at the Tokyo Olympics in which India can succeed
1) 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team Event (Shooting)
Indian teams in action: a) Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker
b) Abhishek Verma and Yashwaswini Deswal
India has been the most dominant nation in this new shooting event over the last few years. They have the two most successful teams in this event at the Tokyo Olympics at their disposal.
The two Indian pairs have won more gold medals than any other nation in the world in this event. So they are the obvious favorites in Tokyo too, and if they shoot well, a 1-2 finish is on the cards.
However, teams from Russia, Iran and Serbia are expected to make it difficult for the Indian teams to complete a 1-2 finish on the Tokyo Olympics podium.
2) 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team Event (Shooting)
Indian teams in action: a) Divyansh Singh Panwar & Elavenil Valarivan
b) Deepak Kumar & Anjum Moudgil
This is another event, in which India has been highly successful in the international arena in the last couple of years. The Indian team, consisting of youngsters Divyansh Singh Panwar & Elavenil Valarivan will go into the event as the firm favorites to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
The other Indian team of Deepak Kumar & Anjum Moudgil are also very good and have the capability of striking gold on their day. However, the competition in this event will be very tough.
Countries like Hungary, China, Russia and USA also have excellent teams at their disposal, who can beat the Indian teams and win the yellow medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
3) Recurve Archery Mixed Team (Archery)
Indian team in action: Deepika Kumari & Atanu Das / Tarundeep Rai / Pravin Jadav
Indian recurve archers have been in red hot form before the Olympics as they won 3 gold medals in the recently concluded World Cup Stage 3 event in Paris. One of the three yellow medals came at this new Mixed Team event, where the husband-wife duo of Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari clinched gold for India.
In Tokyo, this star archery couple is most likely to represent India in this mixed team event. However, the male archer partnering with Deepika will only be finalized after the ranking rounds in Tokyo.
If Deepika and Atanu finally form the team, then they will surely be one of the big favorites to win gold. Deepika is in the form of her life and her husband Atanu is one of the most consistent archers at this time. They compliment each other excellently while playing as a team.
However, their road to gold will not be easy. They will have to consistently be at the top of their game against great teams from Korea, the Netherlands, the U.S.A. and China if they want to come out on top.