With the largest contingent of players it is the best time for us to hope for the highest medal hall in Rio Olympics 2016.
Rio Olympics is just a few days away and India is sending its highest contingent of 107 athletes. This Indian contingent will fight for the proud of 1.2 billion people in the world’s foremost sports competition.
In 2008 Beijing Olympics we won three medals, one gold and two bronze medals. Abhinav Bindra became the first individual gold medalist from India. We waited 28 years for a gold medal after Indian hockey team won one in 1980 Olympics. Vijender Singh and Sushil Kumar won bronze medals in Boxing and wrestling respectively. India won six medals in 2012 London Olympics, two silver and four bronze medals. Though six is not a big number in comparison to other big nations, but still it is a badge of honor for a medal starving nation like India.
India is a country where the sole focus is given to cricket, but with the likes of Saina Nehwal, Sushil Kumar, Mary Kom, Yogeshwar Dutt and many others proving their metal globally, Olympics has pretty much entered the big picture in India.
Here are few names who could prove to be the ‘Next Big Thing’ at the Rio Olympics.
Deepika Kumari- Archery
She achieved her big break in 2010 Commonwealth games by winning two gold medals in the same competition, individually and in the team Recurve event. Deepika comes from a small village in Ranchi, as a child she used to practice archery by aiming at the mangoes.
Being a former world no. 1 and a bronze medalist in Asian Championships, she has everything what it takes to be the India’s brightest hopes for a medal.
Tintu Lukka- Women’s 800m sprint
Tintu comes from Kannur district in Kerala. Kerala is well known for producing top performers in Athletics. After completing her education she joined the PT Usha School of Athletics, where she was personally coached by none other than the Indian legend PT Usha herself.
Tintu won a bronze medal in 800m sprint at the Asian Games. She was criticized for her poor performance in 2010 Commonwealth Games and missed out of the final 800m event in the 2012 London Olympics. She will be looking to prove her point at the Rio Olympics.
Irfan Kolothum Thodi- Race walking
Irfan Thodi finished 10th at the 2012 London Olympics in Race-walking, a rarely known sport in India. He has consistently made India proud by performing well in International events. Irfan holds a national record in the 20 km race walk with a timing of 01.20.21 seconds. He was in the Indian army, which he used as a platform to persuade his Race-walking career. He is also known as ‘Malappuram Express’ inspired from the name of his home town in Kerala.
Vikas Gowda- Discus Throw
Born in Mysore and grew up in United States Vikas Gowda is the current national record holder in discus throw. He finished 8th in the final of London Olympics, and scooped up a gold medal at the Asian championships in Pune. Winning the gold for India in 2014 Commonwealth games was his biggest achievement.
Gowda’s Father Shive was the coach of 1988 Olympic track team. Vikas has been competing at the International level for almost 14 years, he is the perfect guy to break India’s long wait of winning an athletics medal.
Dipa Karmakar- Gymnastics
Dipa Karmakar is one of the five women in the world who has successfully performed the Produnova vault. Produnova vault can be a life threatening stunt if not performed perfectly. She is the first Indian female gymnast to claim a bronze medal in Commonwealth games. At such a young age of 22, Dipa is already one of the most successful gymnasts of India. She will be looking forward to add an Olympic medal to her extraordinary achievements. She is also India’s biggest hope to make a mark in Olympic gymnastics after 52 years. Last time it was 1964 when six male athletes competed.
5th to 21st August is the date to destiny for these extraordinarily talented Olympians. Don’t miss it, if everything goes right, this year could be our year.