The most likely projection of how many medals India will win at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Indian medal hopefuls at the Tokyo Olympics 2020
Indian medal hopefuls at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

In the previous two articles in the series of medal projections for the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, we had taken an optimistic and pessimistic approach for forecasting the number of medals that India could fetch at the mega-event. We will project the medal count with the most likely approach in the third and final part of this trilogy.

This approach will perhaps give us the best idea of how many medals India could come up with at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. This approach has taken the weighted average of the performances of the Olympic-bound Indian athletes into account.

Can P.V. Sindhu win her 2nd Olympic medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020?
Can P.V. Sindhu win her 2nd Olympic medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020?

By weighted average, we infer that the most recent performances of the athletes in the current Olympic cycle will be given more weightage as opposed to older performances. These models (including the previous ones) are purely based on the statistics of a particular athlete over the current Olympic cycle.

Most likely medal projection for India in shooting, weightlifting, archery and athletics at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

By now, we are all well aware of the sensational run of performances that the Indian shooting team has produced over the current Olympic cycle. After drawing a blank zero at the 2016 Rio Olympics, a robust rearguard action was taken by the national association and the results are there for everyone to see.

The Indian shooting team has produced the best results in the ISSF World Cup series in the current Olympic cycle. The likes of Abhishek Verma and Saurabh Chaudhary have won a handful of medals at various World Cups in the 10-meter air pistol event for men. The Indian Mixed Teams for the 10-meter Air Rifle and Pistol events have been very consistent as well.

The likes of Rahi Sarnobat and Manu Bhaker have produced some spectacular results in the 25-meter pistol event. Rahi has hit her sweet spot just before the start of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The rifle shooters have a couple of issues to address but are very much capable of getting them rectified in the nick of time.

The Indian shooters are projected to win a total of 4 medals at the Tokyo Olympics by the weighted average projection. The probable events where India could fetch a medal are 10-meter air pistol for men, 10-meter air pistol mixed team event, 10-meter air rifle mixed team event and 25-meter pistol for women.

There are other events as well where India is expected to do well but because of the unpredictability of the sport of shooting, we have kept our expectations in check.

Irrespective of the approach we acquire, Mirabai Chanu will be India's best bet to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. In the women's 49kg weight division of weightlifting, Mirabai is one of the hot favourites to win a gold medal. She can probably win India's first medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. If there is no drama in the script, she should become the second Indian weightlifter to win an Olympic medal after Karnam Malleswari.

Like shooting, the sport of archery can prove to be very unpredictable as far as medal projection goes. However, the likes of Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das have been in terrific form of late. The inclusion of the mixed team event at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will come in as a big plus for the Indian archers.

Atanu will be expected to finish in the top spot in the individual ranking round for India to join her better half, Deepika, for the mixed team event where they are expected to win a medal for the country given their form and accuracy.

In athletics, India's search for that elusive Olympic medal is most likely going to end courtesy of Neeraj Chopra. The 23-year-old Panipat man has been very consistent in the cycle and is known to save his best for big competitions.

Along with Neeraj, there are a couple more medal contenders for India in Kamalpreet Kaur (women's discus throw) and Annu Rani (women's javelin throw) but, with the current stats, only Neeraj looks to be a genuine contender for an Olympic medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Most likely medal projection for India in boxing, wrestling, hockey and badminton at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

The Indian boxing squad for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 also throws a very bright picture of medal hopefuls. 6 time World Champion, Mary Kom will be aiming to achieve glory in the women's flyweight division. She has been in pretty good touch lately and is expected to win her second Olympic medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

In the men's flyweight division, World No. 1 Amit Panghal is looking in the form of his life. He should be expected to win a medal too. Along with Amit and Mary Kom, the likes of Vikas Krishnan and Pooja Rani have done consistently well in the current Olympic cycle. The most likely scenario projects a total of three medals for Indian pugilists at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

A total of 7 Indian wrestlers have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The Indian wrestling roster for the mega-event comprises a perfect blend of young and experienced athletes. The likes of Vinesh Phogat and Ravi Kumar Dahiya have shown some great form in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The former is seeded no. 1 for the women's 53kg category. This should ensure a favourable draw for her.

Bajrang Punia has been the epitome of consistency in the current Olympic cycle. He has prepared himself for 8 years, training under the shadow of his good friend and mentor Yogeshwar Dutt. The Tokyo Olympics 2020 could well be his moment to shine. The most likely approach projects a total of three medals for the Indian wrestling contingent.

The Indian men's and women's hockey teams have done consistently well in bilateral tournaments over the past couple of years. However, in major tournaments, they have failed to deliver the knock out punches.

The format of the field hockey tournament at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 doesn't help India's cause either. One can expect the Indian men's team to advance to the quarter-final stage but after that, it is difficult to project anything with surety given India's record of choking in knockout games.

In badminton, the draws for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 were put out by the Badminton World Federation on the 8th of July, 2021. From the draws, it is quite clear that the only Indian shuttler who can have a decent crack at the medal rounds is P.V. Sindhu.

One can expect P.V. Sindhu to win a medal as well given her pedigree at world level tournaments in the past. But to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will surely be a hard grind for her. The most likely medal tally in badminton for Indian shuttlers will be 1 at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Total medals for India at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 from the pessimistic approach

The Indian athletes that have qualified in various other disciplines like rowing, swimming, equestrian and table tennis will also be looking at giving their Personal Best efforts at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. In an optimistic scenario, we can expect athletes like Fouaad Mirza and Srihari Natraj to spring in a surprise but to expect a medal out of them will be a little too much to ask for.

Thus, from the most likely approach, we project 4 medals in shooting, 3 medals each in boxing and wrestling, and a medal each in archery, athletics, weightlifting and badminton.

The total count of India's medal tally should hover around 14 medals at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

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Edited by Diptanil
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