The 2016 Olympics kick-starts in Rio de Janeiro today! The Indian Olympics Association has created history by sending its largest contingent at the Olympics ever. Being the underachievers at the Olympics, India will be aiming for a double digit medal tally, an ambition that seemed beyond the realms of reality a few years ago, but now looks achievable as India sets out with over 100 Athletes today.
With just a few hours for the Games to start, know the athletes fighting for Gold at Rio.
India’s hopes largely depend on how the shooters perform at Rio. Jeetu Rai is India’s best bet to bring home a Gold in the sport the country has dominated. He’s aced every event he has been a part of so far. Abhinav Bindra will look to bow out on a high note since this will be his last Olympics.
Men’s Team: Gagan Narang, Gurpreet Singh, Prakash Nanjappa, Chain Singh, Mairaj Ahmed Khan, Manvanjit Singh Sandhu and Kynan Chenai.
Women’s Team: Heena Sidhu, Ayonika Paul and Apurvi Chandela will carry India’s hopes.
Surrounded by controversies prior to the Olympics, India’s hopes for Gold also rests on its star wrestlers. Narsingh Yadav and Yogeshwar Dutt are two athletes to watch out for. Babita Kumari is no doubt one of the best women wrestlers in India at the moment and she will be determined to making full use of her first-ever Olympics.
Men’s Team: Hardeep Singh, Sandeep Tomar and Ravinder Khatri
Women’s Team: Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik
India will only have three Boxers vying for a medal in Rio. The absence of big names will be greatly felt, however, Vikas Krishan has the age and fire to perform.
Men’s Team: Manoj Kumar and Shiva Thapa
Making her third appearance at the Olympics this year, a lot of hope rests on Saina Nehwal. Debutant Kidambi Srikanth is the solitary hope in the men’s category.
Men’s Doubles - Manu Attri-Sumeet Reddy
Women’s Doubles - Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa | Women’s Singles: PV Sidhu
Led by Sardar Singh, the Indian Men’s Hockey team will be looking for a podium finish in Rio. The Indian Women’s Hockey team has already made history since they’ve made it to Rio after 36 years. It’ll be exciting to see how far they go.
Deepika Kumari is a sure-shot medal contender, with gold being her primary target.
Other contenders: Atanu Das, Laxmirani Majhi and Bombayla Devi.
As Golf makes its return to the quadrennial sporting extravaganza after a gap of 112 years, India’s top golfers Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia will be representing the nation.
Women’s Team: Aditi Ashok
Dipa Karmakar is the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics in three apparatus and all-round events. She will be seen as a dark horse for a medal.
Avatar Singh will be India’s only judoka in Brazil.
Dattu Bhokanal will hope to bring glory to his country. He is India’s solitary rower at the games.
Women’s Team: Mouma Das and Manika Batra.
Men’s Team:Soumyajit Ghosh and Achanta Sharath Kamal
Men’s Team: Sivalingam Sathish Kumar
Women’s Team: Saikhom Mirabai Chanu
Leander Paes will represent India in the men’s doubles category with Rohan Bopanna. Bopanna will also team up with Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles category. In the women's doubles category, Sania Mirza will partner 22-year-old Prarthana Thombare.
Men’s Team: Sajan Prakash
Women’s Team: Shivani Kataria
With over 30 athletes across the men and women category representing India, athletics will be the largest unit for India at the Olympics.
The image of over 100 Indian athletes competing at the Rio Games is a matter of pride and indication that Indian sports is heading in the right direction. It appears the government is making a concerted effort to fund its athletes and sports programs, so here’s hoping to more success for the country at Olympics!