Winter Olympics 2018: Shiva Keshavan and Jagdish Singh make up two-man contingent for India
With just a couple of weeks left for the Winter Olympics to kick off in PyeongChang, South Korea, the Indian contingent for the games has been confirmed.
India’s contingent this time round is set for a decrease, as only two athletes have qualified for the multi-sport games in South Korea, which gets underway on February 9.
Shiva Keshavan, who is India’s winter sports icon, having represented the country in five previous Winter Games so far, is set to make it to yet another Winter Olympics to participate in luge.
Joining Keshavan will be cross-country skier Jagdish Singh, to make up the two-man contingent, a Winter Games Federation of India (WGFI) official confirmed to Sportskeeda.
Being a predominantly summer-sports dominated country, India has not seen big contingents grace the Winter Olympics over the years, much unlike the other games like the Summer Olympics or the Asian or Commonwealth Games.
Shiva Keshavan is on the threshold of making history, as he will represent India in an Olympic games for the sixth time in his career. The only other Indian athlete to have represented the country in as many Olympics is Indian tennis ace Leander Paes.
The first time that Keshavan represented India at the Winter Games was almost 16 years ago at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan. Since then, he has gone on represent the country at the 2002, 2006, 2010, and the 2014 games.
Meanwhile, Jagdish Singh will be representing India in his first ever Winter Olympics at PyeongChang Olympics.
While Keshavan was India’s only representative at the 1998 and 2002 Olympics, he was joined by the likes of Neha Ahuja and Hira Lal (alpine skiing), and Bahadur Gupta (cross-country skiing) at the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy.
Last time round, at the Sochi Winter Olympics, India was represented by the likes of Himanshu Thakur (alpine skiing), Nadeem Iqbal (cross-country skiing), and Keshavan.
Thakur came close to qualifying for the 2018 games, having registered scores below 140 in four different Olympic qualifying events. However, he needed one more below-140 score to qualify, which he failed to do, after an event in Iceland was called off due to poor weather.