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5 Indians Who Can Go For Gold At The Tokyo Olympics

Saurabh Chaudhury and Vinesh Phogat
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The Tokyo Olympics is finally here and after an extra year of waiting, the excitement for the 32nd edition of the games is slowly building towards a crescendo. India will be sending its largest contingent to the games with close to 120 athletes competing across 18 disciplines and there are plenty of athletes competing for the most coveted prize in all of sports, an Olympic gold medal. 

India hasn’t stood on the top step of the podium at the Olympics since Abhinav Bindra in 2008 but that duck can be broken in Tokyo, so here are 6 Indian athletes who can win gold for India at the 2020 Olympics

1. Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhury – Shooting


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Event: 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team

India’s shooting squad are favoured to bring in most of the medals in Tokyo and two of the top prospects competing together in the mixed team event are Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhury. The duo have won 5 gold medals and one silver in the six tournaments they have competed in since teaming up in 2019 and are heavy favourites to bag the coveted gold medal in Tokyo.

Chaudhury is also one of the favourites to stand on the podium in the 10m air pistol individual event given that the 19-year-old has two golds, one silver and two bronzes in his last five World Cups.

2. Mirabai Chanu – Weightlifting


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Event: Women’s weightlifting (49kg)

Mirabai Chanu could become only the second Indian weightlifter since Karnam Malleswari at Sydney in 2000 to win an Olympic medal. The former world champion is ranked fourth in her category, but two of the weightlifters above her will not be competing in Tokyo, making her the second-best lifter in this category. 

Chanu won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and is coming into the Olympics on the back of some good form at the 2021 Asian Championships where she lifted a personal best of 205kg and broke the world record in the Clean & Jerk segment (119kg).

3. Vinesh Phogat – Wrestling


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Event: Women’s Freestyle 53kg

After a disappointing end to her journey at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Vinesh Phogat will be determined to turn things around in Tokyo. Phogat is the first Indian female wrestler to win a gold medal at both Commonwealth and Asian Games and is heading to Tokyo on the back of some excellent form in 2021, winning gold medals at the Rome Ranking series, Asian Championships and the Poland Open. Phogat is favoured to make the final as the top seed in her category, where she is likely to face Japan’s Mayu Mukaida who holds the home advantage as well as a 3-0 record over the Indian.

4. Bajrang Punia – Wrestling


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Event: Men’s Freestyle 65kg

Bajrang Punia will be competing in his first-ever Olympics in Tokyo and is one of the favourites to finish on the podium this year. Bajrang has been one of the most successful wrestlers in recent times, winning two world championship medals and an Asian Games title since 2018. The 27-year-old is seeded second in his category, which means he would evade world champion Ghadzimurad Rashidov until the final.

5. PV Sindhu – Badminton


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Event: Badminton Singles

PV Sindhu is one of the most high-profile names from the Indian contingent and the 26-year-old will be gunning for her 2nd Olympic medal after winning a silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016. PV Sindhu tends to perform on the biggest stages – having won the World Championships in 2019 – and her route to the gold medal has gotten easier after reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin pulled out due to injury. Sindhu is currently 7th in the world rankings and faces a relatively straightforward draw till the quarter-finals stage.