Time is nearing for sports biggest extravaganza- 2020 Tokyo Olympics and hopes will be high from the Indian athletes. Lot of things have changed since 2016 Olympics as Indian government has given more opportunities and platform to the sports stars including Khelo India School Games for budding stars. The country has started producing champions in a field, they were not known for, like Gymnastics and Athletics. We bring you a list of five Indian athletes who are biggest contenders for Gold at Tokyo Olympics.
5- Neeraj Chopra
Chopra is allready one of the greatest javelin thrower in the history of India with gold in Asian games, Commonwealth games and Asian athletics championship. He was biggest hope for a gold after he broke his own national record with a throw of 88.06m but an elbow injury sidelined him from the action.
If we talk about his national record breaking throw, it could easily have fetched him a bronze at 2016 Rio Olympics. The junior world record holder is currently undergoing physical therapy to strengthen his shoulders. The time he spent off the field could have paid dividends and he would have touched the 90 mark.
Thomas Rohler(90.30 in 2016 Olympics) and Johannes Vetter(2017 world champion) of Germany will pose serious challenge for him. If he manages to return to action and get back to his previous form, one can expect a medal from him, even a gold.
4- PV Sindhu
The Hyderabadi shuttler was amongst the top 10 in the world in 2016, and no one expected a medal from her at Rio. However, Sindhu defied the odds and went onto reach the finals where she lost to Carolina Marin. The problem of losing in the finals was troubling her but she finally found some answers in the recently concluded world championships where she defeated her nemesis Nozomi Okuhara in the summit clash.
The 24-year-old is expected to go one better and clinch a gold at 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
3- Mirabai Chanu
The Manipuri girl surprised one and all when she won a gold at World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, United States. She is the fourth best in her weight category of 49 KG and improving on her performance may make her stand at top of the podium in Tokyo.
2- Amit Panghal
The Haryana lad is currently ranked 1st in men’s light fly weight category(46-49 KG) following his impressive run in the recent while, which started with a silver in Commonwealth Games followed by a gold in Asian Games 2018. He punched above his weight to bag a silver at 2018 World Championships. Amit looks devastating and more importantly, cocky, after beating Dusmatov (reigning Olympic champ) twice.
If he does not run into a Cuban boxer early, he is expected to do better or even clinch the gold.
1- Bajrang Punia
The current world number one is India’s best possibility to clinch second gold in history after Abhinav Bindra. He is almost winning everywhere, he is competing. He has a gold in Asian games and Commonwealth games and if he could improve on his slugging leg defense, he is expected to stand at the top of the podium with the Indian national anthem playing in the background.