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The Indian Sports New Year Wishlist - What we wish to witness in 2023

As a new year dawns with new hope and renewed enthusiasm, The Bridge adds to its wishlist a few sporting achievements we would love for Indian sports to unlock in 2023.

Neeraj Chopra
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Neeraj Chopra with his silver medal from the 2022 World Athletics Championships

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 1 Jan 2023 9:06 AM GMT

2022 was a mixed bag for Indian sports. It was a year of many firsts - the first-ever Thomas Cup win in badminton, the first-ever Diamond League title in athletics, the elevation of PT Usha as the first-ever woman president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

It was also the year of countless off the field controversies including sexual misconduct allegations, doping bans, a FIFA ban, innumerable Committee of Administrators (CoA) appointments and a ban threat from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

As a new year dawns with new hope and renewed enthusiasm, The Bridge adds to its wishlist a few sporting achievements we would love for Indian sports to unlock in 2023.

An Athletics World Champion

A total of 19 editions of the World Athletics Championships have been conducted and India's tally in the prestigious events stands at a mere two medals - a bronze from Anju Bobby George and a silver from Neeraj Chopra.

The javelin thrower did come close last year before losing out to Anderson Peters and with yet another World Championships slated for this year, we hope for Neeraj Chopra to yet again create a miracle.

Winning the All England Open

Lakshya Sen came agonisingly close to recreating the heroics of Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand at the All England Open last year, but fell short in the final hurdle against Viktor Axelsen. It has been more than 21 years since an Indian asserted their dominance in the prestigious tournament, and we would surely love the country to reclaim that glory.

A memorable outing in Hockey

Indian hockey has been on a steady upward curve over the past few years in both the men's and women's section. With the Men's Hockey World Cup slated for the year along with the Indoor World Cups for both men and women, a decent outing in all the events would just be what India needs to bring back hockey to mainstream in India.

Women's IPL to the fore

The BCCI has announced their intentions of hosting the inaugural edition of the Women's IPL this year. While there have been no further developments in this regard, if the Women's IPL is indeed hosted it would surely give a much needed boost to not only women's cricket but also women's sports in general in the country.

A slot in Candidates tournament

The Indian teenagers have established themselves as a force to reckon with in the world of chess over the past couple of years. The likes of Arjun Erigaisi, Dommaraju Gukesh, Nihal Sarin, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa have all given brilliant account of themselves in the biggest tournaments of the world.

2023 is the qualification year for the 2024 Candidates - the first step to being a World champion. Even if one of the Indian GMs is successful in making the cut to the cut-throat tournament, it could possibly take the sport a notch higher in the country.

Asian Games

The future of the postponed 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games continues to look bleak, thanks to the further spurt in covid-19 cases in China. The continental event is expected to serve as qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics in quite a few sports, and a cancellation once again would surely prove to be detrimental for Indian athletes.

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