With the Tokyo Olympics fast approaching, the excitement and buzz among sports lovers is increasing exponentially.
And you know what these people love to do when such mega sporting extravaganza is around the corner? They love to predict!
From how many medals India will win in Tokyo to which athlete will win which colour, people are trying to predict everything!
In that beat, here we will try to make some predictions of our own, and a little bold ones at that.
Disclaimer: There is no intent to malign or underestimate any athletes' capabilities.
#1 Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled
Threat of coronavirus is looming large over Tokyo 2020 Olympics (Image: Reuters)
No one will predict this. But it just might happen! The way the ever-spreading threat about coronavirus is increasing day by day, chances of the Tokyo Olympics being cancelled, or at least postponed, are quite high.
A week back, Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, last week said his organisation was "fully committed" to holding the Tokyo Olympics on schedule despite the coronavirus spread. But then, today, Japan's Olympics minister said that they can postpone the Games until the end of the year.
All these contradicting statements have done nothing but raise concerns that the coronavirus outbreak could force the IOC to eventually cancel Tokyo 2020.
But if the Olympics does happen, and that means my first prediction goes wrong, then don't worry, the next few predictions might just hit the right chord.
#2 PV Sindhu will NOT win a medal in Tokyo
PV Sindhu's inconsistent form could mean that one of India's most favourite medal prospects could return home empty handed. (Image:ANI)
There, I have said it. One of India's most favourite medal prospects, PV Sindhu might have to return home empty handed from Tokyo.
Of course, she is the reigning World Champion, she is the Rio Olympic silver medallist, she is the best shuttler India has produced. But if one takes a look at her form, it is not easy to see that her consistency has dipped enormously. Also, the competition in women's singles is also very difficult.
Beating Tai Tzu Ying (as we saw in the PBL) could prove to be extremely difficult for Sindhu. Moreover, the Olympics are being held in Japan this year which means the Japanese shuttlers will get the added advantage of playing at home. The likes of Akane Yamaguchi, Nozomi Okuhara will be looking to give their all to win a medal at home. Then, there are the Chinese and Korean shuttlers who have been doing all so well in the international circuit.
For more bold predictions, go to the next page!
#3 Indian men's hockey team will finish on the podium
Going by the form India men's hockey team has a realistic chance of clinching a medal at the Olympics. (Image: TheHockeyIndia)
Alright, this might be debatable, this might be tough, but I believe the Indian hockey team will go on to get back a historic medal, after a gap of 40 years.
Currently ranked no. 4 in the world, the Men in Blue have been in blazing form off late. In the FIH Hockey Pro League, they have beaten the top three teams in the world in Belgium, Australia and the Netherlands.
Since Graham Reid has come in as the chief coach, India has played 31 international matches, where they have won 23, lost 5 matches and drew 3 so far. The squad has the perfect blend of youth and experience and after several years, they are looking like real contenders.
#4 First athletics medal for India
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has risen India's hopes of country's first ever medal from athletics at Olympic games. (Image : India Today)
For years, we have waited for a medal from athletics. The two silvers won by Norman Pritchard more than a century ago are long forgotten!
It is not a hidden fact that athletics is one of the disciplines which has the most number of medal events and as a result the Indian federations and associations have been at it to produce a medallist in that field.
Finally, it seems we might have a medallist in athletics in the form of Neeraj Chopra. Out with injury for over a year, the javelin thrower made a sparkling return to the sport. He has the hunger to win a medal and I am willing to put my money on him!
#5 India will finish with their highest-ever Olympics medal tally
India's best ever medal tally, till date, has been six which they achieved at the Beijing Olympics. But this time, if the Olympics do happen, they have a chance to eclipse that mark and go further.
Pundits are even predicting that India will win medals in double digits. Indeed, it might very well happen. We could be looking at 5 medals from shooting, 2 from boxing, 2 from wrestling, 1 from hockey and that's 10 right there!
In fact, if our shuttlers and paddlers and others can do well (and prove my prediction wrong, no one will be happier), we could win many more. All in all, we should finish with our highest ever medal tally at any Olympics.