Indian sportspersons to watch out for in April
April will consist of several last-minute qualifier events that will take place all around the world. We take a look at Indian teams competing at events.
The pressure is building as the time for the Olympics winds down every week. The next month or two will consist of several last-minute qualifier events that will take place all around the world. We take a look at Indian teams competing at events in various sports around the world with the emphasis being placed on certain athletes.
Wrestling - Asian Olympic Qualifier, Almaty, Kazakhstan
This event is to be the final regional qualification tournament for the Olympics out of a total of 4 such events. The dates for the same are 9th-11th April. The events that are to take place are Men's Freestyle, Men's Greco Roman and Women's Freestyle. Each event will have a total of 6 weight categories out of which 2 individuals (finalists) will qualify from each category.
The new national champion and one touted for the future has had a phenomenal campaign last month. He beat former Olympian, Narsingh Yadav, 4-3 in the semi-finals and thereafter beat Amit Dhankar as well in the 74kg category. This puts him on course to the Asian Qualifier tournament in a bid to secure an Olympic place.
The other wrestlers who will compete are Anshu Malik, Pooja, Nisha and Seema all of whom won their respective weight categories in the selection trials last month. Sonam Malik is one to watch out for after defeating former Olympian Sakshi Malik with a score of 8-7 in the finals.
Hockey India v Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Mandeep Singh led India to have relative success in a series of test matches up till now and their aim against the Argentinians will be to improve upon their consistent performances over the past year after an unbeaten tour in Europe. The team has rested Akashdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh for this tour. Experienced players like Sreejesh, Birendra Lakra and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay will be on board for this edition of the team's preparation. Rupinder Pal Singh will be back for India in what will be a boost for the team while the debutants will be Jaskaran Singh and Shilanand Lakra who make their way for the first time.
Boxing Youth Men's and Women's World Championships, Kielce, Poland
India has announced a formidable team for this year's event. This includes three-time Khelo India champion Arundhati Choudhary, former Asian youth champion Naorem Chanu, Arshi Khanam and Alfiya Pathan out of all the women boxers heading abroad. The men's team, too, has Asian Champions with Ankit Narwal(former silver medalist at the Asian Youth Championships being a leading contender along with Chongtham Bishwamitra, Vishal Gupta, Akash Gorkha amongst others.
The team has already left on March 31 for a preparatory camp that will take place for ten days prior to the event.
She is a former junior National Champion at the 2017 edition of the National Games. Since then, Arundhati Choudhary has been winning accolades all over. The teenager from Rajasthan, who once used to defeat boys in boxing bouts as a bright future ahead of her in the initial stages of her career.
He too is a three-time Gold Medallist at the Khelo India youth games and in the international forum has won a bronze in the SBC Junior Championships at the Phillipines and silver in the same tournament a year later in Mongolia. Much is expected out of him in the upcoming tournaments.
Archery - World Cup, Guatemala City, Guatemala
The same event was cancelled last year and 16 Indians were set to compete in it prior to COVID 19. This year it will take place in Guatemala City again with tight Covid 19 restrictions. Several Indians are set to take part with Atanu Das, Dhiraj Bommadevara, Jyothi Vennam, Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhagat amongst the 16 competitors. There are 4 events with compound and recurve both for men and women taking place. It will take place from 19-25th April. Much will be expected out of Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das in their run-up to the Olympics as they have been the highlight of Indian archery over the past few years. Komolika Bari will also be vying for a podium finish given the high expectations that have surrounded her career over the past few years.
Weightlifting - Asian Championship, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
The first name on everyone's mind when it comes to Indian weightlifting. She will be aiming to nail down a spot this month at the Weightlifting Asian Championships as one of the last qualifiers for the Olympics. She has had to recover from a back injury over the past few months and this has impacted her training as well. However, with adequate medical guidance, she has emerged better after her trip to the US and is all set to take charge of the final qualifications stages for weightlifting.
Sailing - Mussanah Open Championship, Mussanah, Oman
A huge squad of Indians is set to compete in the upcoming Mussanah Open Championships later this month. From the men's event, KC Ganapathy, Varun Thakkar, Manu Francis and Vishnu Sarvanan are amongst some of the competitors while Ekta Yadav, Nethra Kumaran and Harhsita Tomar are a few out of the 6 female representatives. This event is the final Olympic Qualification period for countries in Asia and Africa. All events have on place reserved for the Olympics this time.
The first Indian to win a medal at the World Cup Series will also be hoping to secure a place in the Laser Radial event over the course of the Mussanah Championships. She has been successful so far in setting her sights on the Olympic place and has her training base in the Canary Islands in Spain. She has previously competed in the Asian Games in 2014 and 2018(with a 4th place finish being her best). This is her best shot at gaining a place at the Tokyo Olympics this year.