India at Tokyo Olympics – 8 Big Medal Hopes Still in fray: India has sealed silver (Mirabai Chanu) and a bronze (PV Sindhu) medal so far in the Tokyo Olympics with the 3rd medal (at least bronze) by Lovlina Borgohain also confirmed. India is currently in the 62nd position on the medal tally. However, with 5 days left in the Tokyo Olympics, India also has 8 big medal hopes remaining to participate in their respective events.
5 days left, 8 big medal hopes still remaining for India:
Indian Men’s Hockey Team
The Indian Men’s Hockey team was exceptional in their pool except for that one match against Australia. They had won all the other 4 matches to qualify for the quarterfinals. After finishing 2nd in their pool, just below World No. 1 Australia, the men’s hockey team took on Great Britain in the quarterfinals.
Great Britain did not prove to be as tough a challenge for India. India won that match 3-1 to enter the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics. However, the semi-finals were against World No. 2 and the golden generation of Belgium and were knocked out 5-2. They will still play for the bronze match.
Indian Women’s Hockey Team
The Indian Women’s Hockey team made it through to the knockout stages by winning their last 2 matches and a bit of help from Great Britain. However, after that, it was all their skill and perseverance as they made history by defeating the mighty Australians in the quarterfinals and reaching the semi-finals for the first time in history.
Women’s hockey coach Sjoerd Marijne’s message to Rani Rampal & Co, ‘Enjoy the moment, focus on small things;
Check Out ⤵️https://t.co/9o2UAyYNVY
— InsideSport (@InsideSportIND) August 2, 2021
They will face World No. 3 Argentina in the semifinals as they continue their hunt for glory. India faces Argentina on the 4th of August at 3.30 PM.
Neeraj Chopra will begin his Olympic campaign on the 4th of August at 5:35 AM in Group A of men’s javelin throw qualifications. Neeraj is pooled in the group with World No. 1 Johannes Vetter from Germany.
Having won golds at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, and the 2017 Asian Championships in Bhubaneshwar, expectations are high from the javelin thrower. The 23-year-old Indian, a medal prospect in Tokyo Olympics, has a personal best of 88.07m.
Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain etched her name in the history books after reaching the semi-finals of the women’s 69kg welterweight category, thereby confirming India’s 2nd medal in Tokyo Olympics. Her triumph in the difficult third round against Chen Nien-chin.
Lovlina will face the Turkish Busenaz Surmeneli in the semi-finals as she continues her hunt for glory as well. Surmeneli is the reigning world champion and won her quarter against Anna Lysenko of Ukraine 5-0 after a unanimous decision by the judges. The bronze is confirmed, can Lovlina bring the gold?
Ravi Kumar Dahiya
Wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya is set to begin his Olympic campaign on the 4th of August in the 57 kgs weight category. Ranked third in the world, the 23-year-old has already won many big international competitions. The World Championship bronze medalist also has two Asian Championship gold medals to his name.
Having recently won 2 golds at the Asian Wrestling Championships, Almaty, 2021, and in New Delhi, 2020, Ravi Kumar Dahiya had beaten European Champion Arsen Harutyunyan in the round of 16 and Japan’s Yuki Takahashi in the quarterfinals to earn a place in the Tokyo Olympics.
Deepak Punia will be competing in the freestyle 86kg category event. He was the silver medallist in this category at the 2019 World wrestling Championship and secured his berth for the Olympics. He has been in great form in recent times by winning a silver medal at the 2021 Asian Championships.
He will face Nigeria’s Agiomor in the quarterfinals on the 4th of Aug to kick-off his Olympics campaign. Seeded second, Deepak will be avoiding his rival, Iranian great Hassan Yazdani, in the early rounds. Yazdani got the better of him at the Asian and World Championship finals.
Bajrang Punia will be competing in the freestyle 65kg category event. He has three World Championship medals to his name and qualified for the Olympics by winning a bronze medal at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships. He is competing in one of the most competitive weight categories and has at least 6-8 wrestlers, who are all medal contenders.
The 27-year-old has many achievements to his name, including a gold at the Asian Games, and will look forward to adding another one to his name by winning an Olympic medal. He will be leading the Indian team at the closing ceremony of Olympics 2021 and will aim to walk down with a medal to his name while leading the Indian contingent on August 8.
Vinesh Phogat will be competing in the women’s freestyle 53kg category event at the Tokyo Olympics. She was so near and yet so far at the 2016 Olympics when she got injured and disqualified. This time around, she will be the favorite to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The 26-years-old wrestler won a bronze medal at the 2019 World championships and became the first Indian wrestler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
The way Vinesh has dominated the circuit, she is easily a strong gold contender in her category. In the 17 competitions she has wrestled in since the Rio Olympics, she has won a medal in each one of them barring the 2017 World Championships.
“I got one extra year to adjust to a new weight category,” said Phogat. “Even if my attacks were half attempts at 50kg, I would finish them with my strength but not at 53kg. The attack has to be 100% or else the opponents can also stop me from attacking. So if you see my bouts, I take a minute or so to understand them and then decide my attacks. If they are making their moves or waiting for my moves.”
Anshu Malik will be competing in the women’s freestyle 57kg category event at the Tokyo Olympics. She is just 19-years-old, and her gold medal finish at the 2021 Asian Championships holds her in a good state for the Tokyo Olympics.
However, she comes from a family of wrestlers as her father Dharamveer Malik competed at the international level in the junior category during the 90s. Anshu has got a difficult opener as she has drawn European champion Irina Kurachikina.