Considered to be the world’s most watched and respected sporting event, the Summer Olympics at Rio De Janeiro, Brazil have begun. As for India at Rio 2016, winning a medal for the country is the only thing on the athletes’ mind. It is now a matter of national pride and also a pinnacle moment in their career.
India has sent the largest ever delegation of 122 athletes (41 more than the previous record). Most of all, get to know all the athletes that have toiled hard for years to represent India. Therefore, it is our job now is to support them throughout the games!
With a team of 19 men and 17 women, the Indian athletics crew makes up the majority of the contingent. Events include 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus throw. There are more to look forward to- 3000 Steeplechase, 20 km and 50 km Race Walking, 4X400m relay.
- Dutee Chand (100 m): She is the third Indian woman to have qualified for the 100m race at the Rio Olympics! The last 100m Indian female sprinter was PT Usha who took part in the 1980 Summer Olympics – 36 years back!
- Vikas Gowda (Discus Throw): A gold medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after achieving a distance of 63.64m.
- Inderjeet Singh (Shot Put): Achieved the Olympic qualification mark with a throw of 20.65m.
- Sandeep Kumar (50km Race Walking): Qualified after record a timing of 1:23:32 at IAAD race walking challenge, Portugal.
- Kushbir Kaur (20km Race Walking): National Women’s 20 km record holder at 1:33:58.
- Lalita Babar (3000m Steeplechase): Won gold – Asian Championship Steeplechase at Wuhan, setting a new national record.
7. Manpreet Kaur (Shot put): Broke an 18-year-old record at the 55th National Open Athletic Championship.
8. OP Jaisha (Marathon): Two time Asian games Bronze medalist, current national record holder for her performance at the 2015 World Championship, Beijing.
9. Sudha Singh (3000m Steeplechase): Won silver at Federation Cup National Athletic Championship, Delhi.
Probably India’s strongest department and also a favourite, this 7-member team has their work cut out for the Rio games. The women’s team is led by world No.2 Saina Nehwal followed by 21-year-old PV Sindhu. We will also see 14-time National Badminton Champion Jwala Gutta alongside doubles specialist Ashwini Ponnappa.
While the men’s team comprises of India’s highest ranked K Srikanth (World No.12), doubles partners Manu Atthri and Sumeet Reddy.
Indian archery team is 4 members strong with Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi Laishram and Laxmirani Majhi. These women have made us proud by securing a berth for themselves in the women’s event. Atanu Das, is the only qualified male this year from team India.
Deepika Kumari: Scored a world record score of 686/720 in the women’s recurve event of the Archery World Cup in Shanghai.
At a point in history, after 1920s, The Indian hockey team became the biggest obstacle other teams had to face. We were the undisputed leaders for a long while. Yet the 2008 Olympics was a disaster, Our men in blue still seem like a safe bet. After winning silver at the Champions trophy, they will look to extend their good run in the upcoming games too.
Men’s Hockey: 18 member contingent led by captain-Sreejesh P R.
Women’s Hockey:18 member contingent led by captain-Sushila C Pukhrambam.
Men: Yogeshwar Dutt(65 kg), Narsingh P Yadav(74 kg), Sandeep Tomar(57 kg), Hardeep(98 kg) and Ravinder Khatri(85 kg).
Women: Sakshi Malik(58 kg), Vinesh(48 Kg) and Babita Kumari(53 kg).
While Hardeep and Ravinder Khatri are contesting in the Greco-Roman Style, the rest of them are in the freestyle discipline.
All of the four representing India at Rio 2016 are contesting in the singles domain in the upcoming games. While Achanta Sharath Kamal, Soumyajit Ghosh (Men) and Mouma Das, Manik Batra (Women) will be vying for securing top honours. Soumyajit has also participated in the 2012 Games.
Abhinav Bindra, India’s first Olympic gold medalist (in 2008 Beijing games) would be the man to look out for. He, along with 11 others, carry the Indian tricolour at Rio. Gagan Narang, the bronze medalist at 2012, London will look to clinch another medal for India.
Men: Abhinav Bindra, Kynan Chenai, Mairaj Ahmad Khan, Prakash Nanjappa, Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai, Chain Singh and Manavjit Singh Sandhu.
Women: Apurvi Chandela, Ayonika Paul and Heena Sidhu.
With the experience of having participated in 6 Olympic Games, Padma Shri Leander Paes is India’s favourite in the Men’s Doubles Event. He is accompanied by the able world No.10, Rohan Bopanna. World No.1 Sania Mirza and Asian games bronze medalist Prarthana Thombare will represent India at Rio 2016,women’s doubles event.
Shiv Thapa 56 kg, Manoj Kumar 64 kg and Vikas Krishan 75 kg will be representing India at the Rio Games. Manoj won gold at 2010 Commonwealth Games while Shiva Thapa became the youngest to qualify for the Olympics in 2012.
India’s sole gymnast, Dipa Karmakar, is an artistic gymnast. In addition, she won a bronze medal at the Asian Gymnastics Championships and finished fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. As a result, creating a record for India. Also, she is one of the 5 women in the world to have successfully landed the Produnova vault in competition!
The sport has made a comeback after almost 112 years, last seen in the 1900 and 1904 Olympics. Anirban Lahiri has a list of first for-an-Indian records to his name. The major ones include representing India at the World Cup 2013, representing Asia in EurAsia Cup and named in the 2015 President’s cup. Shiv Shankar is the winner of 3 European titles and the Indian Open 2016 by pushing Lahri to joint 2nd Spot! This Olympics, Aditi Ashok will be the only woman golfer representing India at Rio 2016.
More athletes that qualified for India at Rio 2016:
Rowing: Bhokanal Dattu Baban– M1x Men’s Singles Sculls.
Judo: Avtar Singh in the 90 kg category.
Swimming: Sajan Prakash 200 m butterfly and Shivani 200 m freestyle.
Weight lifting: Sathish Kumar Sivalingam men’s 77 kg and Mirabhai Chanu Saikhom women’s 48 kg.