Asian Games 2018: Sports in which India can win gold medals
The 18th edition of the Asian Games, the second biggest multi-disciplinary event in the world, is all set to kick off at Jakarta and Palembang from the 18th of August. It promises to be a glorious event, as the powerhouses of the world's largest continent will lock horns across 40 sports over a period of 16 days.
India has cleared a contingent of 543 athletes to compete in 34 sports at the sporting extravaganza. The Asian Games provide a chance for the Indian athletes to extend their dominance exhibited at the Commonwealth Games. It shall also function as an acid test for the preparations ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
As the athletes gear up for the quadrennial event, let us have a look at the gold prospects for India at the Games across various sports:
The Indian shuttlers have been in rich vein of form in recent times. The talent, nurtured and groomed under the watchful eyes of coach Pullela Gopichand, has been consistently making India proud at the international level. Saina Nehwal bagged the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games this year while PV Sindhu clinched silver medals at Gold Coast and the World Championships.
The mixed team has also been in great form as they made history by clinching gold at the Team Event in CWG 2018.
In the absence of Carolina Marin, Sindhu is the best player in the world on paper. With her ability to win long rallies and her scintillating smashes, Sindhu promises to breathe fire. Saina, too, would be looking to put her experience to best use in the quadrennial event.
Badminton promises to be a highly competitive event as the powerhouses of Asia lock horns at Jakarta. The likes of Akane Yamaguchi, Ratchanok Intanon, Nozomi Okuhara, and Lin Dan pose a challenge in front of the Indians.
Thus, women shuttlers are the main contenders for the apex glory at Jakarta, but with the decent form the male shuttlers are in, they might also go all the way.
Shooting has been one of the main sports scripting glory for India at multi disciplinary events. The shooters have always been on the forefront for winning medals for the country, be it Olympics, the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games.
Indian won the maximum medals, 16, in shooting at Gold Coast this year. Heena Sidhu extended her dominance at the Games. She also clinched two medals at the Commonwealth Games this year and was part of the gold triumph in the 10m air pistol mixed team event.
While a seasoned campaigner as her is expected to marshal the shooting contingent, the emergence of young guns such as Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala also provide a boost to India's chances.