As the nation has been pondering over their athletes’ performances at the recently concluded Rio Olympic Games where India could only win two medals – one bronze and one silver; there are also those in power who have tried to make sure we get to know the real reason behind the disappointing results in Brazil even with a contingent of 121 athletes.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also recently announced the setting up of a task force which will determine what we need to do to improve our nation’s performances at the future three Olympic Games starting from Tokyo 2020.
There have also been those who have blamed the poor infrastructural facilities provided to the athletes for the failure to compete with the best from around the world. But in Rio, we also saw glimpses of several athletes who ended up impressing the world at a young age in their sport. Therefore, we have assembled a list of sports from which the nation can expect medals in Tokyo 2020:
India saw itself being represented by three female and one male archer at the Rio Olympic Games. There was not much expectation from either of the two genders as there are several top-ranked archers who featured at the Games for their respective countries. India was represented by 31-year-old Bombayla Devi, 27-year old Laxmirani Majhi and 22-year old Deepika Kumari.
Even though not many people gave them a shot of progressing to the latter stages of the competition, the females did not disappoint the nation one bit. They lost in the quarter-finals of the team competition to the Russian Federation after having led them in the first set. In the individual category, it was the experienced Bombayla Devi who did a great job of qualifying for the Round of 16 even though she is ranked a lowly 69 in the world.
In the men’s category, it was Atanu Das who made great strides as well in Rio as he lost in the Round of 16 clash against South Korea’s Lee Seung-yun. However, four years later in Tokyo, this man will be someone to watch out for. At the age of just 24 he has a mature head on his shoulders and it will prove to help him in the future.
The Indian archery department has the perfect amalgamation of youth and experience, and it should stand them in good stead in the next Olympics. What they need is the right kind of exposure to gain experience of aiming for the target even with strong winds. Also, finding the right archers and developing them for four years will be the key in addition to training Das and Kumari.