Kolkata: All eyes will be on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and how Indian athletes fare in the mother of all competitions. There are quite a few sportspersons who have had an outstanding 2019 and hence have become prime hopes for an Olypic medal.
Here are four sportspersons who definitely can achieve glorious feats in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Amit Panghal (boxing): No doubt, he is one of India’s main hopes for an Olympic medal. Only two Indian pugilists have won medals at the Olympics – Vijender Singh (Men’s 2008) and MC Mary Kom (Women’s 2012). Panghal’s consistency can only be matched by the legendary Mary Kom. The boxer shifted from 48kg to 51kg but that too did not dampen his spirits as the 23-year-old fetched India its first ever silver at the men’s world championships. Since moving to 51kg category, he won gold at the Asian Championships and is a bright prospect going into Tokyo 2020.
Saurabh Chaudhary (shooting): Saurabh Chaudhary has proved that he has the appetite for success. He scaled new heights by smashing the world record on his way to a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup, thus securing a Tokyo Olympics quota also. Saurabh also won the mixed pair event alongside Manu Bhaker, another young prodigy. He also finished No. 1 at the Munich World Cup, recorded another podium finish (bronze) in the individual event of the Rio de Janeiro World Cup, won silver at Asian Shooting Championships and another mixed event alongside Yashaswini Singh Deswal. Hence one can bank on this young shooter from Uttar Pradesh to achieve Olympic glory.
Vinesh Phogat (wrestling): She underlined her potential with a bronze medal in the World Wrestling Championships after she registered an emphatic 4-1 victory over Greece’s Maria Prevolaraki in Russia. That made her the first Indian wrestler to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. She also became the first Indian woman wrestler to make the cut through Worlds, a feat which only strengthens her stakes at the Tokyo Olympics. With Sakshi Malik struggling, Vinesh will be India’s best hope for glory in Tokyo.
G Sathiyan (table tennis): Table tennis doesn’t have a bright history for India at the Olympics but the sport is making giant strides riding Sathiyan’s coattails in the past year or so. Last year saw India’s highest ranked paddler come of age and take over the mantle from Sharath Kamal. He became the first Indian to break into the top-25 of the ITTF world rankings when he rose to 24 in July. He also beat quite a few top-20 players, including World No. 5 and young Japanese teenage sensation Harimoto Tomokazu. Come Tokyo 2020, it remains to be seen whether they make it but the year ahead looks more than promising for Sathiyan.
PNN & Agencies