Tokyo Olympics: With 179 days to go; From Mary Kom, Vinesh Phogat and Neeraj Chopra, here are all Indian athletes who have qualified

Tokyo Olympics: With 179 days to go, the race to Tokyo Olympics has restarted. Athletes have begun preparations, noted events they want to participate in before the qualifiers. India so far has confirmed 41 berths for the Tokyo Games. The most number of qualifications have been in shooting (15), followed by boxing (9) and athletics (6). So, here’s a look at where India’s athletes and Olympic hopefuls stand as the buildup to the Games enters its final stretch.

Tokyo Olympics — Shooting:

Who have qualified?

Thus far, 15 Indian shooters have confirmed places at the Olympic Qualification, making it the country’s largest contingent at any Games.

The qualified shooters are — Deepak Kumar, Divyansh Singh Panwar (10m air rifle men); Aishwary Tomar, Sanjeev Rajput (50m rifle 3 positions men); Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma (10m air pistol men); Angad Bajwa, Mairaj Khan (Skeet men); Anjum Moudgil, Apurvi Chandela (10m air rifle women); Tejaswini Sawant (50m rifle 3 positions women); Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Deswal (10m air pistol women); Chinki Yadav, Rahi Sarnobat (25m pistol women).

Notably, the national federation has the freedom to swap a few quota places depending on the form and other factors.

Big names who still have to qualify

Elavenil Valarivan (World No.1, 10m air rifle women) and Anish Bhanwala (World No.12, 25m rapid-fire pistol men) are yet to confirm their places. The two youngsters still have a chance to qualify for the quadrennial event, after ISSF announced that the remaining quota places will be allocated based on the ranking list as of March 31, 2020, and points earned at one ISSF World Cup. The new deadline for qualification is June 6, 2021.

Important events:

There are two Shotgun World Cups (Egypt in February, Italy in May) and one Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun World Cup (India in March) before the qualification period expires.

Tokyo Olympics — Boxing:

Who have qualified?

India has confirmed nine quotas for the Olympics, which is already equal to the previous best qualification cycle (2012). The boxers who have qualified so far are — Mary Kom (women’s 51kg), Simranjit Kaur (women’s 60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (women’s 69kg), Pooja Rani (women’s 75kg), Amit Panghal (men’s 52kg), Manish Kaushik (men’s 63kg), Vikas Krishan (men’s 69kg), Ashish Kumar (men’s 75kg) and Satish Kumar (men’s 91kg+).

Big names who still have to qualify

The only categories India has not qualified yet are in men’s and women’s featherweight (57kg division). Gaurav Solanki and Kavinder Bisht are the biggest names who are yet to qualify.

Important events

The team is likely to first compete in the Strandja Cup in Bulgaria from February 21-28, followed by a tournament in Hungary. These will act as a warm-up for the World Qualifiers in Paris in June.

Tokyo Olympics — Wrestling:

Who have qualified?

Four Indian wrestlers have qualified so far for the Olympics. They are — Ravi Dahiya (men’s 57kg freestyle), Bajrang Punia (men’s 65kg freestyle), Deepak Punia (men’s 74kg freestyle) and Vinesh Phogat (women’s 53kg freestyle).

Big names who still have to qualify

At the top of the list is Sakshi Malik, the bronze medallist of Rio Games. However, it is the 74kg men’s freestyle division which will garner most attention. Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and 2015 World medallist Narsingh Yadav are in the fray to take the place in the Indian squad.

Important events

India have two chances left — the Asian Olympic Qualifiers (April 9-11), Kazakhstan and the World Olympic Qualifiers (May 6-9), Bulgaria.

Tokyo Olympics — Badminton:

Who have qualified?

No shuttler has thus far, confirmed a place in Tokyo Olympics. The Olympic qualification is from April 29, 2019, and April 25, 2021, and the places will be allocated on the basis of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings on April 29, 2021.

Big names who still have to qualify

All the big names like PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal, B Sai Praneeth, Ashwini Ponnappa, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have to seal their places.

Each nation can enter a maximum of two entries in any of the events. Players ranked in the top 16 in singles and top 8 in doubles qualify automatically. The singles events will comprise 38 men and 38 women, while the doubles events will have 16 pairs each in the men’s, women’s and mixed category.

Important events

All England Open Badminton Championships (March 17-21) and Malaysia Open (March 31 – April 4).

Tokyo Olympics — Tennis:

Who have qualified?

No qualification has been done so far. Qualification will be on the basis of the ATP and WTA singles and doubles rankings as of June 7, 2021.

Big names who still have to qualify

There are seven players — Rohan Bopanna, Sania Mirza, Leander Paes, Divij Sharan, Ankita Raina, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Sumit Nagal — who have high hopes.

For singles, the top 56 in the world will qualify. However, as a country can have a maximum of four players in the draw, it is possible for players ranked lower than 56 and from countries with fewer than four already-qualified players to make it. In the men’s and women’s doubles, 32 teams qualify.

Up to 10 places are reserved for players in the top 10, who can pick a partner from the top 300. Teams with the best-combined rankings take the remaining spots. Mixed doubles is played by those already qualified for singles or doubles. There are 16 teams – the top 15 combined-ranking duos and one from the host nation.

Important events

Australian Open (February 8-21), Miami Open (March 24-April 4), Madrid Open (May 2-9), Rome Masters (May 9-16), French Open (May 23-June 6).

Tokyo Olympics — Track and Field:

Who have qualified?

Five individuals and one team so far — Neeraj Chopra (men’s javelin throw), KR Irfan (men’s 20km race walking), Shivpal Singh (men’s javelin throw), Avinash Sable (men’s 3000m steeplechase), Bhawna Jat (women’s 20km race walking), and 4x400m mixed relay team.

Big names who still have to qualify

Dutee Chand (100m), Hima Das (200m), Tejinder Pal Singh Toor (shotput), M Sreeshankar (long jump), 4x100m and 4x400m women’s relay teams. Athletes can qualify by one of two methods: by achieving event entry standard within the qualification period or by IAAF world ranking position at the end of teh qualification period. The Olympic qualification deadline is June 29, 2021.

Important events

India’s athletics season will get underway with the National Open Racewalking Championship in Ranchi on February 13. It will be followed by three Indian Grand Prix series events on February 18, 25 and March 5 and the Federation Cup (Mar 15-19) in Patiala. All five are Olympic qualifying competitions. Among international events, the World Relay Championship in Poland on May 1-2 will offer up a chance for Indian teams to qualify.

Tokyo Olympics — Hockey

  • Men’s National Team
  • Women’s National Team

This will be the 20th Olympic Games which will feature the Indian men’s hockey team, who sit fourth in the world rankings, while the women’s side will be making their third appearance and second in succession.

Both teams qualified in November 2019 and each of them will carry a 16-member squad to Tokyo 2020.

Tokyo Olympics — Table Tennis

Who have qualified?

No one yet.

Big names who still have to qualify

All — Achanta Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan and Manika Batra. India missed out on an opportunity to earn an Olympic spot via the team event at the world qualifiers in Portugal in January last year. Qualification in the team event would have fetched two automatic spots in the singles event as well.

Important Events

Two qualifying events will take place in March in Doha – Asian Olympic Qualifier (March 13-15) and World Olympic Qualifier (March 16-19).

Tokyo Olympics — Equestrian

Fouaad Mirza

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