Paris Olympics: Top 10 medal hopes for India

by IANS |

July 6 (IANS) As the Paris Olympics draw near, anticipation builds for India’s top athletes poised to make their mark on the global stage. India will be sending a contingent of close to 120 sportspersons to the Olympics, including an Athletics team led by the defending champion in the men’s javelin Neeraj Chopra, a 21-member Shooting team and a 16-member men’s hockey squad. With just 20 days left until the world’s biggest sporting carnival begins, IANS highlights the top 10 Indian medal prospects and their rigorous preparations. Neeraj Chopra (Javelin throw): The javelin superstar, stands on the cusp of history. Fresh off a gold medal win at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland with a throw of 85.97m, Chopra aims to become the first Indian athlete to win back-to-back gold medals. His next appearance will be at the Olympic stadium, ready to unleash his formidable throws in pursuit of glory. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (Badminton): India's dynamic badminton duo, focus on comprehensive physical and mental conditioning after a disappointing Singapore Open. Ranked third in the world, they aim to surpass their previous Olympic performance and clinch a medal. Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing): A boxing powerhouse, recently earned silver at the Grand Prix in the Czech Republic. Alongside Zareen, she is training in Saarbrucken, Germany, with sights set on a second Olympic medal her journey is a testament to perseverance and ambition. Men's hockey team: The men's hockey team, led by Harmanpreet Singh and supported by the veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, looks to redeem itself after a lackluster Pro League performance. Training in Bengaluru before a bonding camp in Switzerland, the team aims to reignite its Olympic campaign with renewed vigor. Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling): A wrestling sensation, gears up for the Spain Grand Prix before a 20-day training stint in France. Recently seen at the Budapest Ranking Series, where she faced a tough defeat, Phogat remains undeterred. With the Sports Ministry's assistance expediting her visa process, her focus is firmly on refining her technique and strategy. Nikhat Zareen (Boxing): A two-time world champion boxer, eyes Olympic glory. Last victorious at the Elorda Cup in May, she, along with other Indian boxers, is honing her skills at a month-long camp in Germany. Zareen’s Olympic debut is eagerly awaited, with expectations of her punching her way to the podium. PV Sindhu (Badminton): India's badminton queen is training intensively in Saarbrucken, Germany. Despite early exits in the Indonesia and Singapore Opens, Sindhu remains a beacon of hope. A medal in Paris would elevate her to India's most successful Olympian, a testament to her resilience and skill. Mirabai Chanu (Weightlifting): Weightlifting champion and Tokyo silver medalist prepares for another Olympic showdown. Training at NIS Patiala, Chanu aims to lift between 200-210kg to secure a podium finish. Overcoming injuries, she remains one of India’s strongest medal contenders. Sift Kaur Samra (Shooting): A rising star in shooting, secured her spot in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions after stellar performances in the Olympic selection trials. Fresh from a national camp in France, Samra's recent bronze at the Munich World Cup sets the stage for her Olympic journey. Aditi Ashok (Golf): Representing India in golf for the third time, qualified through the Olympic Golf Rankings. Despite a challenging season, Ashok’s experience and determination drive her quest to surpass her Tokyo performance and bring home a medal. --IANS hs/bsk

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