After being postponed by almost a year, the Tokyo Olympics is almost upon us. The quadrennial event is expected to be held from 23rd July 2021 to 8th August 2021 without foreign fans in the stadium.
With the final date for Olympics qualification set at 29th June 2021, the athletes all across the globe are giving one final push to ensure a safe passage to Tokyo. Here, we look at the Indian athletes who stand a chance to qualify for the Games in April:
India has already grabbed four slots in the form of Vinesh Phogat, Bajranj Punia, Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Deepak Punia for the Tokyo Olympics in wrestling, and they stand a chance to secure more slots in the coming month.
With the Asian Olympic qualifiers to be held between 9th to 11th April in Kazakhstan, quite a few Indian grapplers have a golden opportunity in front of them to book their Tokyo ticket.
A Greco-Roman wrestler who competes in the 77kg weight category, Gurpreet Singh might be India's best bet amongst men to qualify for the Olympics from the Asian Qualifiers. A top-2 finish at the event will all but secure a place for Singh at the Tokyo Games.
Sandeep Singh Mann
A freestyle wrestler, Sandeep Mann emerged as the champion in the 74kg men's national trial. Mann put up some fantastic performances to book his slot for the Asian qualifiers, crashing the dreams for the likes of Narsingh Yadav. If Mann continues the way he fought at the trials, it would not be any surprise if he books a place for himself in the flight to Tokyo.
The silver medallist at the recently held Individual Wrestling World Cup in Belgrade, Anshu Malik will be leading the charge in women's wrestling for India at the Asian qualifiers. Anshu will be seen competing in the 57kg category and a top two finish in Kazakhstan will ensure a safe passage to Tokyo for the 19 year old.
There would be a truckload of expectations on the shoulders of the young Sonam Malik when she takes to the mat at the Asian qualifiers. For, she has earned he slot in the qualifiers defeating the 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik. The 18 year old will be fighting for a slot in the 62kg category at the Olympics.
The likes of Gyanendra (60kg GR), Sunil Kumar (87kg GR), Ashu (67kg GR), Ravi (97kg GR), Naveen (130kg GR), Satyawart Kadian (97kg FS) and Sumit (125kg FS) will be the other Indian men in the fray for the Olympic slot at the Asian Qualifiers.
While in the women's section, Seema (50kg), Nisha Dahiya (68kg) and Pooja Sihag (76kg) will be vying for an Olympic qualification in their respective categories during the Asian Qualifiers.
India is almost assured of two spots in weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympics in the form of Mirabai Chanu and Jeremy Lalrinnunga, thanks to their world rankings.
But the duo, Chanu who is ranked world number 4 in women's 49kg is almost certain to make the cut while the same stands for Jeremy in men's 67kg as he is expected to make the cut as the highest ranked Asian in his category. The qualification will most probably be made official after the Asian Weightlifting Championships which will be held between 16 to 25th April 2021 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
While the qualification of Bhavani Devi in the individual sabre event is already assured, the official announcement for the same is expected to be made on April 5th when the final world rankings before the Tokyo Olympics will be published for the sport.