The pandemic has plunged the world sporting calendar into disarray and cast gloom over preparations for the 2021 Olympics.
Various qualifying events for the Olympics in the host city of Japan are among a long list of competitions that have been either postponed or relocated because of Covid-19. The postponement of the Games has disrupted Olympic qualification for the athletes.
With life getting back to normal, this year's qualifiers will be a turnaround for ones who haven’t yet qualified. After much anticipation, the Olympics are now expected to run from July 23 through August 8 this year.
Also Read: Best Olympics ever for India? Here is the full list of medal prospects at Tokyo 2021
Indians are once again weaving big expectations around our athletes who will be putting their best efforts for Olympic glory in Tokyo. So far, more than 70 Indian athletes have already qualified for the Tokyo Games, with many more in contention to secure Olympic quotas.
Never before in the history of this country has it sent a contingent to the Games with so many medal prospects. On a closer look, one can notice a steep rise in the participation rate of Indian athletes at the Olympics in each of its last three editions.
Let’s take a look at the Indian athletes who have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
#7 Archery - 5 Quotas
- Tarundeep Rai - Recurve
- Atanu Das - Recurve
- Pravin Jadhav - Recurve
- The men’s trio of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das, and Pravin Jadhav
- Deepika Kumari - Recurve
#6 Athletics - 9 Quotas
- KT Irfan - 20km race walking
- Sandeep Kumar - 20km race walking
- Rahul - 20km race walking
- Avinash Sable - 3000m Steeplechase
- Neeraj Chopra - Javelin throw
- Shivpal Singh - Javelin throw
- Bhawna Jat - 20km race walking
- Priyanka Goswami - 20km race walking
- 4x400 Mixed Relay Team of Muhammed Anas, Vismaya, Krishna Mathew and Noah Nirmal
#5 Boxing - 9 Quotas
- Vikas Krishan - 69kg
- Ashish Kumar - 75kg
- Satish Kumar - 91kg
- Amit Panghal - 52kg
- Manish Kaushik - 63kg
- Lovlina Borgohain - 69kg
- Pooja Rani - 75kg
- Mary Kom - 51kg
- Simranjit Kaur - 60kg
#4 Hockey - 2 Quotas
- Women’s National Hockey Team
- Men’s National Hockey Team
#3 Shooting - 15 Quotas
- Divyansh Singh Panwar - 10m Air Rifle
- Deepak Kumar - 10m Air Rifle
- Sanjeev Rajput - 50m Rifle 3 Position
- Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar - 50m Rifle 3 Position
- Saurabh Chaudhary - 10m Air Pistol
- Abhishek Verma - 10m Air Pistol
- Angad Veer Singh Bajwa - Men’s Skeet
- Mairaj Ahmad Khan - Men’s Skeet
- Anjum Moudgil, 10m Air Rifle
- Apurvi Chandela, 10m Air Rifle
- Tejaswini Sawant, 50m Rifle 3 Position
- Manu Bhaker, 10m Air Pistol
- Yashaswini Singh Deswal, 10m Air Pistol
- Rahi Sarnobat, 25m Pistol
- Chinki Yadav, 25m Pistol
#2 Wrestling - 4 Quotas
- Bajrang Punia - Freestyle 65 kg
- Ravi Kumar Dahiya - Freestyle 57 kg
- Deepak Punia - Freestyle 86 kg
- Vinesh Phogat - Freestyle 53 kg
#1 Equestrian - 1 Quota
- Fouaad Mirza
Indian Athletes In Contention To Qualify For Tokyo Olympics
While things could make a turnaround in the next couple of months, preparations so far have seen Indian athletes giving it their all to make the Olympic cut. Amidst all the joy centering around those who have already booked Olympic berths, there are a few who could still qualify for the Games. Take a look at five such exemplary Indian athletes who are in contention to secure Olympic quotas.
#5 P V Sindhu
Five years ago at the Rio Olympics, P V Sindhu became the toast of the nation following her silver medal at the Olympics. One expects the World Championships gold medallist to capitalize on the opportunity to bring home another Olympic medal this year.
#4 Srikanth Kidambi
Only a few years ago, Srikanth Kidambi established himself as the next big thing in Indian badminton. In the Rio Olympics, he defeated players like Lin Dan and Viktor Axelsen and progressed to the quarter-finals as world No. 11. In 2018, he became the first male Indian badminton player to be ranked world No. 1. A repeat of his breakthrough performance at the 2016 Olympics would mean he is more than likely to fare well at the Olympics.
#3 Hima Das
One has hopes pinned on World U-20 Championships gold medallist Hima Das for a breakthrough performance to secure an Olympic quota. Hima’s current 400m national record of 50.79s falls within the entry requirement standard and if she could replicate such a performance this year, a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics would be guaranteed.
#2 Sharath Kamal
In the backdrop of his recent top-notch form, one expects three-time Olympian Sharath Kamal to ride high on his form and make the most of the ongoing 82nd Senior National Table Tennis Championships for a final cut to the contingent.
#1 Leander Paes
Indian tennis legend Leander Paes will look to chase his elusive Olympic glory in what will be his record eighth Olympic appearance.
With the perfect amalgamation of technique and experience, the ten-time mixed doubles Grand Slam title holder should stand in good stead in Tokyo.