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 last two weeks, we wrote a series of article with the title “What if Olympic Happened”, where we hypothetically discussed the day-wise performances of the Indian athletes, which were actually scheduled in the Olympics 2020 roster.
Day 16: 8 August 2020
Today would have been the sixteenth and final day at the Olympics and India could have been a part of five title matches.
Athletics is, without doubt, one of the most significant events of the Olympics. On the last day of the games, the only medal match that was supposed to be held was the Men’s Marathon Final.
Gopi T would have been the sole representative for India at the marathon event. At the Rio Olympics in 2016, he finished at 25th position. He is the only Indian to win a gold medal in Asian Marathon Championship. To qualify for Tokyo, Gopi will need to clock 2:11:30 whose best of 2:13:39 fetched him the 11th spot in Seoul in March 2019. With Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge finishing a marathon in under 2 hours, Marathon event has stepped into a new era. The Indian will aim for his personal best to qualify for the Olympics. However, one can’t predict a marathon’s approx timing to win a medal but like any athlete, Gopi’s aim will be to clock a PB at the world stage.
Chances of winning medal: 10%
Nine Indian boxers have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, making this India’s biggest-ever boxing contingent at the quadrennial event. On the final day, the following events were scheduled:
Women’s Light (57-60kg) Final – Simranjit Kaur
Women’s Middle (69-75kg) Final – Pooja Rani
Men’s Light (57-63kg) Final – Manish Kaushik
Men’s Super Heavy (+91kg) Final – Sathish Kumar
This team would have been the 2nd tier medal winners to take the centre stage at the final day of Olympics. If Amit Panghal, Mary Kom and Vikas Krishan are the ones to watch out for in Olympics, Indian would have expected these four boxers to put their best foot forward just to increase the medal count for the country.
A 2018 World championship bronze medallist and 2019 Asian Championship silver medallist Simranjit Kaur, was certainly capable and experienced enough to stoke the big stage upset. On the other hand, Pooja Rani went one step higher than Smiranjit to win a the gold medal in Asian Championships in 2019. Though she had to adjust her weight category from Asiad, her Olympic qualifier campaign proved that the transition was smooth.
Manish Kaushik is a young and energetic boxer whom we loved to watch in recent times, he is current World championships bronze medallist.
Bhiwani is a name that is synonymous with Indian boxing. Over the last two decades, the Haryana district nicknamed ‘Mini Cuba’ produced accomplished boxers like Kavita Chahal, Jitender Kumar and Vijender Kumar, to name a few. Sathish Kumar being around in the amateur circuit for quite some time, he finally gets the ticket to Olympic, becoming first Indian to qualify for Olympics at super heavyweight category.
Chances of winning a medal – 45%
This brings us to the end of the “What if Olympics Happened” article series. It was an exhaustive yet rewarding journey to analyse in detail how athletes would have performed in the Tokyo 2020 Games. Everyone has been eagerly waiting for the Games and was hoping for India’s best
-ever medal tally since the day PV Sindhu won the last Olympics medal for India – two days after Sakshi Malik. Though the Olympic Games didn’t happen this year, we look forward the be in the same fervour until Tokyo 2020 Plus One. Keep your fingers crossed, and hope the world overcomes this pandemic for our athletes to shine next year at the biggest sporting stage of the planet.