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5 Indian Armed Forces athletes who can win medals at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Neeraj Chopra at the 2016 World U20 Athletics Championships
Neeraj Chopra at the 2016 World U20 Athletics Championships
Hrishikesh Damodar

Indian athletes are often seen representing the country internationally. Some of them also serve in the Armed Forces which includes the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

In the past, many athletes have served in the Armed Forces and also made India proud in the sports arena. The likes of the late Milkha Singh, shooters Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Jitu Rai and Vijay Kumar, marathoner Ram Singh Yadav and many others are examples of the same.

Many Indian athletes join the Armed Forces because the infrastructure and sporting facilities are of the highest quality. This helps them prepare for their sports while simultaneously serving the nation.

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, there will be several athletes from the Armed Forces who will represent India in their respective sporting events.


Also Read: Deepika Kumari to enter Tokyo Olympics 2020 as World No. 1 in archery


5 Indian athletes from the Armed Forces who could win medals at the Tokyo Olympics 2020


#1 Neeraj Chopra

Neeraj Chopra is one of India's most prominent medal hopefuls at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 23-year-old javelin throw star joined the Indian Army as a Junior Commissioned Officer in 2016.

Joining the Indian Army has provided Chopra with all the necessary assistance, including proper training equipment and facilities to develop his game. The 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medalist is currently training and participating in events in Europe to get ready for the quadrennial event in Japan.

Chopra recently won two gold medals at the Meeting Cidade de Lisboa, Karslad Grand Prix, and a bronze medal at the Kuortane Games. It seems that his preparation for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 is on the right track.


Read: Top Athletics Lucerne: Neeraj Chopra, Johannes Vetter set to face each other again in Switzerland


#2 Amit Panghal

Amit Panghal is one of India's star boxers and a strong medal prospect at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in July. The 2019 World Championships silver-medalist has served in the Indian Army as a Junior Commissioned Officer since 2018. His brother, Ajay Panghal, is also in the Indian Army.

Panghal has represented India since 2017, making his international debut at the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Tashkent. He won the bronze medal in the 49 kg Light Flyweight there.

In 2018, he won the silver medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and followed it up with a gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games. Pangal also won the gold medal at the 2019 Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.

The 25-year-old has been seeded no.1 in the 52 kg flyweight category by the Boxing Task Force at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


Read: How brotherโ€™s sacrifice showed boxer Amit Panghal the future


#3 Deepak Kumar

Deepak Kumar is one of India's top shooters specializing in 10m air rifle. The Asian Games silver-medalist serves the Indian Air Force in the rank of Sergeant. He works as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the Air Force.

The 33-year-old won the bronze medal in the 10m air rifle mixed team at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. This booked him a berth at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. In 2021, he won the silver medal in the 10m air rifle men's team event at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.

Kumar is currently participating in the Croatian leg of the 2021 ISSF World Cup in Osijek. At the Tokyo Olympics, he will be competing in the 10m Air Rifle individual and 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team events.


Read: 2021 ISSF World Cup: What are the world rankings of Indian shooters?


#4 Sanjeev Rajput

Sanjeev Rajput (centre) with his gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games
Sanjeev Rajput (centre) with his gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games

Sanjeev Rajput is an ace shooter who specializes in the 50m Air Rifle 3 Positions event. The two-time ISSF World Cup gold medalist joined the Indian Navy in 1999 and left in 2014.

The veteran shooter picked up interest in shooting while serving in the Navy. Rajput was exceptional in target practice and therefore it was an easy decision for him to take up shooting as a career. He made his Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but didn't win any medals.

In 2018, Sanjeev Rajput won his first Commonwealth Games gold medal at the Gold Coast, Australia. He is all set to represent India in the 50m Air Rifle 3 Positions individual at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 next month.


Read: Will the pressure get the better of the Indian shooting team at the Tokyo Olympics?


#5 Pravin Jhadav

Pravin Jhadav in action (Source: Worldarchery.org)
Pravin Jhadav in action (Source: Worldarchery.org)

Pravin Jhadav is an archer who has been representing India since 2016. The 24-year-old serves in the Indian Army in the ranks of Havaldar and trains at the Pune Army Institute.

Jhadav won his first international medal by taking home bronze in the Men's Recurve Team at the 2016 Archery World Cup. In 2019, the Men's Recurve Team of Pravin, Atanu Das and Tarundeep Rai booked their spots at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after winning the silver medal at the World Archery Championships.

The Men's Recurve Team is one of the top medal prospects for India in archery at the Tokyo Olympics.


Read: Tokyo Olympics: The sport in which India is likely to win its first-ever Olympic Medal - Archery


Edited by Anantaajith Ra

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