Four months after the International Olympic Committee and officials in Japan postponed the Games amid soaring coronavirus infection rates and lockdowns across the world, uncertainty prevails. The unpredictable nature of the virus is making it impossible for officials to say definitively that the Games will happen or, if they do, what they might look like. Though we are missing the fervour of the quadrennial event, we are soaked in the Olympic spirit. For the next two weeks, we will be writing a series of article with the title “What if Olympic Happened”, where we will hypothetically discuss the day-wise performances of the Indian athletes, which were actually scheduled in the Olympics 2020 roster.
Day 9: 31 July 2020
Yesterday would have been the ninth day at the Olympics and India could have been a part of gold-winning title match.
India might not be able to send the desired number of shuttlers to Tokyo Olympics if the current situation persists. PV Sindhu among women’s and Sai Praneeth among men’s would have had the best chances at the Olympics. On day 9, women’s gold medal match was on the roster and PV Sindhu had a great chance of making it to the final.
Sindhu is completely focussed on improving her craft in pursuit of a second Olympic medal at the Tokyo Games. She claimed India’s first-ever World Championships gold in 2019 but she made early exits from a series of tournaments the rest of the season, including her failure to defend the World Tour Finals title.
No matter what, Sindhu is certainly a special player and what stands out most when it comes to Sindhu is her ability to perform at a big stage. Her medals in world championships and Olympics is proof for that. A sport like badminton having Spain vs India in final itself was unusual in 2016 but it can most likely repeat but one cannot forget Yamaguchi who is also a favourite to win a gold. It’s mostly going to be 3-way contest for the gold medal – PV Sindhu, Carolin and Akane
Chances of winning a medal – 90%
Athletics is, without doubt, one of the most significant events of the Olympics. On Day 9 of the games, the only medal match that was supposed to take place was the Men’s High Jump Final, where India’s sole hope would have been young Tejaswin Shankar.
Tejaswin was still some distance from qualifying for the Olympics when all sport was suspended around the world but the 21-year-old started keeping himself motivated, without preparing for a particular tournament, which has been a problem. He is a talented youngster but he missed out on Asian Games and also Asian Championships for various reason. His last performance remains to be Commonwealth Games 2018. So there is a lot from his end needed to make it to the Olympics itself. Expecting him in the final of the event is long-shot prediction.
Chances of winning medal: 10%
Other events on day 9 and possible contenders:
25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men’s Qualification – Stage 1 Anish Bhanwala
Men’s Team: QF
Women’s Fly (48-51kg) QF Mary Kom
Men’s Welter (63-69kg) SF Vikas Krisan Yadav
Men’s Middle (69-75kg) QF Ashish Kumar
Men’s Super Heavy (+91kg) QF Satish Kumar
Men’s Individual Stroke Play RD 4(Final) Rashid Khan, Udayan Mane
Eventing Cross Country Indivvidual Fouaad Mirza
Women’s 3000m Steeplechase Round 1: Parul Chaudhary
Women’s Long Jump Qualifying Round: Sojan Ancy
Men’s 400m Round 1: Rajiv Arokia/Muhammed Anas Yahiya
Men’s 800m SF: Jinson Johnson
Men’s 400m Hurdles SF: Jabir M P
Women Doubles Gold match: Sania Mirza/Ankita Raina
Women Freestyle 76kg: RD16/QF/SF Kiran
Greco Roman 60kg: RD16/QF/SF Manish
Greco Roman 130kg: RD16/QF/SF Naveen