While the Indian sporting scene continues its recurring biennial slumber towards Indian athletics, to change the grim consequences of our poor planning that we were facing 15 months back, its essential to focus on the prospects for Tokyo Olympics 2020 well in advance.
Athletes must be groomed for the big stage and help can be taken from sports where Indian sportspersons have performed at the very top and competed for the highest honors. Cricketers and shuttlers can help guide the athletes to build the temperament for the big stage. Focus also must be given to achieve the qualifying marks early into the Olympic cycle so that they are conditioned to peak during the competition and not during the qualification stages.
While Government of India's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) has included only 2 athletes in the 45 members, there has been big controversy regarding the selection process. So, here we look at the top 5 prospects that could end India's 120-year wait for an Olympic medal.
5. Beant Singh (800 m)
Beant Singh with his Asian Youth Championships gold in Doha.
The former Asian youth champion has showed steady growth, and has made the transition to the senior stage, although not as smoothly as expected. The expectations that gets attached to any young athletic sensation in India has weighed heavily on his performances. He hasn't been able to live up to the hype on the senior level.
Despite of these difficulties, Beant has made a steady improvement and has taken of 3 seconds of his best in last 2 years, and while he currently stands 6 seconds adrift of the podium, he can be a wildcard in 2024 given that the age is on his side and with proper training, he has the ability to repeat his junior level success on the world scale.