Barring a couple of misses, this Rio Olympics will see crossing the three-figure mark for the first time. Indeed a proud moment with over 100 sports persons qualified and the 12-member shooting team and 36-member track and field athletes are the largest groups – that in turn increases the chances of a better medal tally. In addition are the men’s and women’s hockey teams, wrestling and badminton players and tennis champs.
Among the popular ones are tennis players who have already shown their mettle at the grand slam championships. Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna; Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare – will be the teams to look forward too. They are expected to play significant role in mixed doubles as well.
The shooting team too has had a good performance to bank on – Abhinav Bindra (10m air rifle); Jitu Rai (50m pistol and 10m airpistol); and Gagan Narang (50m rifle prone and 50m rifle 3 positions and 10m air rifle).
In the Badminton squad are of course Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu whom we will be looking forward to. It is the discus thrower who is the only one to win a gold in 50 years in the track and field category during Commonwealth games, that raises hopes. And in athlectis it is Dutee Chand on whom we can pin hopes. Archer Deepika Kumar and wrestler Vinesh Phogat are in good form, so one hopes they do well at Rio.
One player to look forward to, is of course the gymnast from Tripura Dipa Karmakar. First and the lone gymnast to qualigy for Olympics, she had already bagged gold in the finals of Olympic test event. One hopes she repeats her performance.