The qualification period for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Athletics ended a couple of days back on 29th June 2021. A total of 26 track and field athletes have managed to make their way into the Indian Olympic contingent through various ways during the qualification period marred by the pandemic.
Here we take a look at all the track and field athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics:
Undoubtedly, India's biggest medal hope in athletics, Neeraj Chopra, is a javelin thrower. The 23-year-old from Haryana qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in January last year with a throw of 87.86m in a tournament in South Africa. He has since gone on to create a new national record of 88.07m and will enter Tokyo as one of the medal contenders in the javelin throw.
A long jumper from the southern Indian state of Kerala, Murali Sreeshankar, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in March earlier this year with a jump of 8.26m. Born in a family of athletes, the 22-year-old started off as a sprinter before switching to long jump.
The second javelin thrower from India to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Shivpal Singh, booked his slot at the Games with a throw of 85.47m just before the pandemic forced the entire world into a lockdown in March 2020. With the limelight completely on Neeraj Chopra, it would not be a surprise if Singh manages to punch above his weight without the pressure of expectations in Tokyo.
Kamalpreet Kaur has been in a fiery form off late. The 25-year-old made it to the Olympics with a national record throw of 65.06 during the Federation Cup in March 2021. She bettered that throw with an attempt of 66.59 last month, although it was not recognised as a national record on technical grounds. The girl from Punjab has emerged out of the unknown just ahead of the Olympics and promises a lot going into Tokyo.
The second discus thrower from India to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Seema Punia made scraped through on the last day of the qualification period with a throw of 63.72m. The veteran will be competing in her fourth Olympics when she takes the field in Tokyo.
Hailing from the state of Kerala, KT Irfan was the first Indian track and field athlete to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The 31-year-old achieved this feat back in March 2019 by clocking 1:20.57 in the 20km Race walk event during the Asian Race Walking Championships in Nomi, Japan.
Another Indian Race walker to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in the 20km event, Rahul Rohilla, qualified during February earlier this year. He clocked 1:20.26 during the National Open Race Walk in Ranchi to force his way to the Indian Olympic contingent.
A 25-year-old Race walker from Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Goswami qualified for the Olympics when she clocked an impressive 1:28.45 in the 20km event at the National Open Race Walk in Ranchi earlier this year. She has since recovered after a bout with the deadly covid-19 and is raring to give her best at Tokyo.
Much like Rohilla and Goswami, Bhawana Jat, too, qualified for the Olympics by surpassing the qualification standard during the National Open Race Walk in Ranchi. The 24-year-old clocked 1:29.54 to make book her ticket to Tokyo.
Yet another Race walker to qualify through the National Open Race Walk in February, Sandeep Kumar registered a timing of 1:20.16 to set a national record in Men's 20km event and qualify for the Olympics.
Gurpreet Singh is the only Indian to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in the 50km Race Walk event.
A steeplechaser from Maharashtra, Avinash Sable qualified for the Tokyo Olympics back in October 2019 when he clocked a wonderful 8.21.37 at the World Athletics Championships final in Doha and finished 13th.
Tajinderpal Singh Toor
A 26-year-old from Punjab, Tajinderpal Singh Toor, is a shot putter. He qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when he went past the qualification standard of 21.10m twice with throws of 21.49m and 21.28m in a matter of minutes during the Indian Grand Prix 4 in June 2021.
The only women javelin thrower from India to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Annu Rani, made it through the World Rankings quota. With a personal best of 63.24 set in March 2021, the 28-year-old will be expecting to leave a mark with her performance in Tokyo.
The only sprinter from India to qualify for the Olympics in individual events, Dutee Chand, will be seen competing in women's 100m and 200m at Tokyo. The 25-year-old qualified through the World Ranking quota wherein she was ranked 44th in 100m and 51st in 200m.
A 400m hurdler from Kerala, MP Jabir qualified for the Tokyo Olympics through the World Rankings quota. The 25-year-old was ranked 32nd in the Road to Olympic Games Rankings when the qualification period ended.
Men's 4x400m Relay Team
The Indian men's 4x400m Relay Team qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by the Top List. With a timing of 3:01.89, the team of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv and Noah Nirmal Tom were the first team in the Road to Olympic Games Rankings to have not qualified through the designated competition. The quartet will be joined by Naganathan Pandi at Tokyo.
Mixed 4x400m Relay Team
The Mixed 4x400m Relay Team of India qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when they reached the final of the 2019 World Championships in Doha. The athletes named in this event includes Sarthak Bhambri, Alex Anthony, V Revathi, Subha Venkatesan and Dhanalakshmi Sekhar.