India has been a land of immense talent in every field. As it is only a few days to go for the RIO Olympics, India is sending 107 athletes who will represent the 1.2 billion people of the country. In 2008 Olympics, India won 3 medals viz. 1 gold by Abhinav Bindra and 2 bronze by Sushil Kumar and Vijender Singh in wrestling and boxing respectively. India won 6 medals viz 2 silver and 4 bronze in 2012 Olympics held in London. Though India is not amongst the front runners in the medal tally but still here are 10 promising athletes who have raised hopes for India.
1. Deepika Kumari – Archery
Hailing from a small place in Ranchi, Deepika used to practice shooting by aiming at mangoes in childhood. She won two gold medals in the Commonwealth games 2010. She is also a Bronze medalist from the Asian Games. All these achievements make us expect a medal from her.
2. Dipa Karmakar – Gymnastics
Her quality of being a great athlete is reflected that she is one of the five women in the world who has successfully performed life threatening Produnova vault. 22 aged, Dipa is the first Indian female to won bronze medals in Commonwealth Games. She is India’s hope to win a medal after 52 years in Olympics.
3. Irfan Kolothum Thodi- Race walking
This Kerela athlete is also known as “Malappuram Express” as he holds a national record in the 20 km race walk with a timing of 01.20.21 seconds. He was in Indian Army and he secured 10th position in London Olympics in Race Walking which is a rare sport known in India.
4. Vikas Gowda- Discus Throw
Gearing up to make his fourth Olympic appearance, Vikas Gowda originally belongs to Mysore but grew up in the Unites States. He has represented India in many International achievements. He was 8th in London Olympics, won a gold medal in Asian Championships in Pune and won gold for India in Commonwealth Games. The national record-holder with a best of 66.28 meters is arguably the most consistent Indian athlete in recent times.
5. Saina Nehwal – Badminton
She is undoubtedly India’s biggest hope in Rio Olympics as she will compete to turn her bronze medal of 2012 gold medal. 26-year-old Hyderabadi has already won Australian open and is three-time Indonesia Open winner. If her fitness plays good, no doubt she will add another medal in her name.
6. Sandeep Tomar – Wrestling
25-year-old wrestler from Uttar Pradesh first stepped in the mitti akhara at the tender age of 12 years. It was unprecedented that he will set his way to the world’s more prestigious games – Olympics. Malakpur has already produced four Olympians in wrestling and so if Sandeep Tomar wins a medal it won’t be surprising.
7. Tintu Lukka- Women’s 800m sprint
Originally belongs to Kannur district in Kerela, Tintu joined the PT Usha School of Athletics, after her education. She was guided by none other than legendary PT Usha herself. She won a bronze medal in the 800m sprint at the Asian Games. But she could not make through 2010 Commonwealth Games and final 800m event in the 2012 London Olympics. She will hopefully prove herself in the Rio Olympics.
8. Dattu Bokanal – Rowing
Hails from Maharashtra and will be representing India at the Rio Olympics alone. Dattu has gone through a lot of hardships and has won silver in 6th Asian Rowing Championships in China and also won two gold medals at the 2014 National Rowing Championships.
9. Anirban Lahiri – Golf
11-14 august is destined for this young athlete who is India’s ace golfer. With 18 professional titles, Lahiri has represented India in 2013 World Cup as well as in Asia in EurAsia Cup in 2014, 2016. Banglore resident Lahiri can speak English, Bengali as well as Punjabi. He will be a player to watch in Rio this year.
10. Avtar Singh – Judo
Unlike every athlete mentioned , Avtar Singh has not won any world championship but will be the only judoka in Rio from India. He has participated in only six International events but won Gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati. His lack of exposure could be an advantage as opponents won’t have clue of what would be coming from his end.
11. Sania Mirza – Tennis
She has been ranked as the World No 1 status in women’s doubles. This will be the third time she will be playing for Olympics but she has not won even once before. Though this player’s some marked achievements including Grand Slam titles three times in a row has increased our hopes by many times this time.
12. Yogeshwar Dutt – Wrestler
He is the second Indian wrestler after Narsingh Yadav to participate in the Wrestling this year at Rio. Even last year the 33-year-old wrestler has won a Bronze medal at Olympics but we are hoping, this time, he will make the change to his color of the medal.
13. Abhinav Bindra – Shooting
Till date, he is the only individual Indian to win a gold medal at Olympics. He will compete in the 10-metre air rifle event and hopefully eve this time he will add one more medal to make us proud of him.
14. Shiva Thapa – Boxing
22 aged boxer who became the youngest player to qualify for Olympics last year has secured a berth in Olympics this year too. After winning a gold in Asian Olympic Qualifiers in 2012, Thapa has been marked as a good contender for a medal this year.
15. Leander Paes – Tennis
One of the prolific players of the country and winner of Padma Shri has pinned for his seventh Olympics as Rohan Bopanna’s partner for the men’s doubles category. The tennis star would be chasing for gold with full enthusiasm and zeal towards the sport.
We wish all our luck to these athletes as these are our hope for medal starving country India. We hope this is our year.
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