Summer Olympic Games 2016
The greatest event in the sports world in 2016 is undoubtedly the Summer Olympics scheduled to be held between 5 and 21 August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And Rio certainly promises to be bigger than ever. Some 206 National Olympics Committees across the world will be sending in athletes to compete. It is likely that over 10,500 of the best sportspersons in the world will compete to win in the 306 events held (in 28 different sports).
India at the Rio Olympics
India first participated in the Olympic Games in 1900 (as part of the British Empire) and has been consistent in its participation in the Summer Olympics since 1920. Altogether, our country has managed to secure about 9 gold, 6 silver, and 11 bronze medals taking the total to 26 – a dismal count given our sporting talent and passion for the games. At the 2012 London Olympics, Indian athletes secured 2 silver medals and 4 bronze medals. In 2008 Beijing Olympics, India managed to secure its first individual gold medal. This year, however, Indian Olympics Association has decided to maximise its chances at winning by sending in the nation’s largest delegation yet. It seems likely that 91 Indian sportspersons will participate in 12 sports at the Rio Olympics. The last India sent in a similarly large contingent was in 2012, when 83 athletes and sportspersons from India participated in the London Olympics.
The Indian team is a great mix of senior well-established players and newer names. Here are some of the names to watch out for in Rio in 2016.
22-year-old Tripura gymnast, Dipa Karmakar, first made a name for herself by becoming one of the five women in the world to have succeeded in landing the treacherously difficult Produnova vault and then by becoming the first Indian female to secure an Olympic berth in artistic gymnastics event.
The Indian hockey team has certainly been one of the most successful teams at the Olympics. Rio 2016 Olympics would witness the first-time participation of Indian Women’s Hockey team at the Olympics in 36 years. Rani Rampal, the 21-year-old midfielder from Shahbad town in Haryana has qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games. Also, successful players such as Sardar Singh and PR Sreejesh will be headed to Brazil.
According to the Archery Association of India three women have hitherto been selected to represent India at Rio. Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi Laishram, and Laxmirani Majhi made it to the top 8 in team recurve at the 2015 World Archery Championships, in Copenhagen (Denmark) before having been selected. Atanu Das is the only Indian male archer who’s qualified for the men’s individual recurve event. Rest of the men archers failed to qualify, despite being on top of the list of Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Antalya, Turkey.
The Indian shooting team is studded with popular players including Jitu Rai, Prakash Nanjappa, Ayonika Paul, Apurvi Chandela, Abhinav Bindra, Heena Sidhu, Gurpreet Singh, Gagan Narang, Chain Singh, Kynan Chenai and Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Mairaj Ahmed Khan.
The athletics team having qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games is one of the largest yet and includes 19 men and 17 women athletes.
The men who will participate in the track events are Gopi Thonakal, Nitendra Singh Rawat, and Kheta Ram (Marathon), Sandeep Kumar (50 km race walking), Manish Singh Rawat, Gurmeet Singh and Ganapathi Krishnan (20 km race walking).
The women qualifying for track events include Tintu Luka (women’s 800 m), Lalita Shivaji Babar (women’s 3000 m steeplechase), Khushbir Kaur and Sapna Punia (20 km race walking), and Kavita Tungar Raut & O.P. Jaisha (Marathon).
As far as the field events go, Vikas Gowda has qualified for the discus throw event, and Inderjeet Singh and Manpreet Kaur for the men’s and women’s shot put events respectively.
Saina Nehwal, the number 2 player in the world is looking forward to bringing home a medal from the Rio Olympics. It is likely that her Indian rival PV Sindhu may also join the team of Rio bound badminton players. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa make a great combination and are preparing for the women’s doubles badminton event. On the men’s front K Srikanth has qualified to play at the Rio Olympics while Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy are preparing for the men’s doubles event.
Padma Shri Leander Paes has qualified for the doubles event of tennis. He is considered one of the most prolific players the country has produced. Paes has competed at six Olympic Games. The other tennis star to have qualified is Sania Mirza. Mirza is now ranked number 1 in the women’s doubles rankings.
24-year-old Dattu Bhokanal from Maharashtra, champion rower from India, has qualified for the 2016 Olympics to participate in the single sculls event. Bhokanal managed to secure the second place at the finals of the 2016 FISA Asian and Oceania Olympic qualification regatta held at Korea in at Chung-ju recently.
Our nation has high expectations from the weightlifters. India has earned two quota places for Rio Olympics, one each in men’s and women’s categories. The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) held trials for men and women across all weight divisions to finalize on two participants, namely Sathish Kumar Sivalingam and Mirabhai Chanu Saikhom.
The wrestlers who have qualified for Rio in both the men’s and women’s categories are also the best in the country. Yogeshwar Dutt, Narsingh Yadav, Sandeep Tomar, Ravinder Khatri, and Hardeep Singh will participate in the Freestyle and Greco-Roman style wrestling events for men while Vinesh Phogat, Babita Kumari and Sakshi Malik shall compete in the freestyle women’s wrestling event.
The boxers competing at the upcoming Rio Olympics 2016 include Shiv Thapa (56 kg), Manoj Kumar (64 kg) and Vikas Krishan (75 kg).
India has decided to send four table tennis players to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Soumyajit Ghosh, who was part of the 2012 Olympics team and Achanta Sharath Kamal have been chosen for the men’s singles event while Manika Batra and Mouma Das have qualified for the women’s singles event.
While Indian men golfers who’ll be representing the country at the Rio 2016 Games include Anirban Lahiri and Shivsankar Prasad Chawrasia, the only woman golfer participating at the 2016 Olympic Games is Aditi Ashok.
Avtar Singh, weighing 90 Kg would be representing India in Judo.
Sajan Prakash and Shivani would be representing India in Swimming event in 200m butterfly style.