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Wishlist for the Indian Sports in 2024

'Hope is a good thing'- Here is the wishlist for Indian sports in a crucial year with the 2024 Paris Olympics months away.

Wishlist for the Indian Sports in 2024

Pritish Raj

Updated: 7 Jan 2024 11:38 AM GMT

It's been seven days in 2024 and the Indian sporting scenes are warming up for a year that is in the spotlight for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Predicting anything in Indian sports can be meddling with fire given the uncertainties but here is the wishlist for the year 2024:

Double Digit at the 2024 Paris Olympics

Any Indian sports enthusiast won't look beyond the biggest multi-sporting event, the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The big ticket quadrennial event is back after three years and Indian fans will have the double-digit in mind after India's best-ever showing at the Tokyo Olympics.

India won a total of seven medals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics including the historic gold medal of Neeraj Chopra in the Javelin Throw and the bronze medal won by the Indian men's hockey team.

While Indian athletes put up a brilliant show at the 2022 Asian Games with a record-breaking 107 medals, crossing the ten-medal mark at Paris will be a big ask.

Neeraj Chopra, the Indian men's hockey team, the men's doubles badminton duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, and boxer Nikhat Zareen are the only medal hopefuls for India at the moment.

If Indian shooters manage to carry on their form of 2023 and athletics come up with surprises, India can cross the double-digit mark but it is too early to predict.

Fewer controversies in 2024

Indian sports and controversies go hand-in-hand and 2023 was no less controversial, with wrestlers' protests emerging as the most important talking point of the year.

Apart from the sexual harassment case against former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, multiple controversies put Indian sports in a bad light, including the selection fiasco and bad governance of the Indian federations.

Indian sports ecosystem will hope for fewer controversies and more efficiency in the year 2024.

An end to the Wrestling turmoil

Wrestling contributed two medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and has been one of the sports where India has won five medals in the last four editions of the Olympics.

But the sport has been in shambles ever since a three-way fight between the Wrestling Federation of India, Sports Ministry, and the wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik rocked the sport.

Since the wrestlers began their protest in April 2023, Indian wrestling has not seen many bright days barring a few exceptions in the form of the World Championships medal for Antim Panghal.

As the matter still hangs in the air, we are hoping that 2024 will bring a swift solution to this conflict and Indian wrestling will be back on its feet.

Nikhat's world domination turning into Olympic success

After Mary Kom hung her boots, Indian boxing found another poster girl in the form of two-time world champion Nikhat Zareen.

The boxer from Telangana has been on a brilliant run in the past three years winning everything on her way including two back-to-back World Championships, a Commonwealth Games gold medal, and the bronze medal at the 2022 Asian Games.

Her Asian Games bronze can be considered a blip, but it came a with confirmed berth at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Nikhat Zareen is just one medal away from her hall of fame moment in Indian sports and that is the 2024 Paris Olympics medal.

A new dawn for Indian Chess

For the first time in history, a total of five Indians will be featuring in the FIDE Candidates tournament with Vidit Gujrathi, R Praggnanandhaa, and D Gukesh competing in the men's category while R Vaishali and Koneru Humpy will compete in the women's.

2024 can prove to be the defining year for Indian chess with the immense talent on display and hopefully, India will find its next world champion after Viswanathan Anand.

Moment of glory for the Indian women's hockey team

After the historic show at the Tokyo Olympics, the Indian women's hockey team had a rollercoaster ride in the past three years.

While the team won a medal at the Commonwealth Games, the horror show at the Women's World Cup is still a fresh memory. At the 2022 Asian Games, the team suffered a shock defeat to China in the semifinals, eventually losing out on the 2024 Paris Olympics quota spot.

The team ended 2023 with a win at the Asian Champions Trophy but a bigger task awaits them in the FIH Olympic qualifiers starting in Ranchi on January 13.

Despite a roller-coaster year on their back, there is hope that this bunch of hockey players will script history by securing a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Neeraj Chopra: Hits 90m marks and defends his Olympic crown

The poster boy of Indian athletics, Neeraj Chopra, the reigning Olympic champion, completed a rare double at the age of 25.

After winning the World Championships gold medal in August, Neeraj defended his Asian Games gold in Hangzhou, sealing his domination in the javelin throw.

Entering 2024, two questions will be constant for Neeraj - Can he hit the elusive 90m mark and defend his Olympic crown?

Hopefully, Neeraj will address both questions with one massive throw at Stade de France.

Return of Sindhu, Deepika and Vinesh

2024 can be the year of redemption and return for many big names in Indian sports.

Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu saw her season cut short last year and is set to make a return in February 2024. Currently ranked 12th in the Race to Paris - Olympic qualification rankings, Sindhu will stand a chance to become the first-ever Indian athlete to win three Olympic medals.

Veteran archer Deepika Kumari made a return from maternity duties at the National Games in Goa last year and will have a very tough pathway to Olympic qualifications. However, she will be motivated to savour the taste of a bite of an Olympic medal.

Arguably India's best woman wrestler Vinesh Phogat had a tough year in 2023. She was one of the prime faces in the heated wrestlers' protest. She also suffered a knee injury before the Asian Games.

Hopefully, she will regain her shape and return to winning ways in 2024 with the Paris Olympics in sight.

Better pressure handling from Indian shooters at the Olympics

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was a disaster for the Indian shooting team that entered the event as the hot favourites but returned with a blank sheet.

A lot has changed in the Indian shooting since the Tokyo debacle but the wounds of the disastrous campaign remain fresh.

With a brilliant set of shooters at the helm, the Indian shooting team will have their chance of redemption after a great performance at last year's Asian Games.

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