The Indian qualifiers for the Rio Games are getting ready to take on athletes from all over the world at the 2016 games. For India, this year’s Olympics is highly exceptional as the country will be sending its biggest ever contingent. In our last outing at the Olympics, it was a squad of 83 and they brought home 6 medals — 2 silver and 4 bronze.With more than 100 athletes having already qualified in 13 sporting disciplines this time, women players constitute a substantial part of the squad as well. We bring you a list of who to watch out for:
Gymnast Dipa Karmakar: Dipa Karmakar vaulted into history books when she secured her Rio dreams, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to qualify for the quadrennial event. The 22-year old Tripura girl qualified at the test event for the games. Recipient of the Arjuna award, Dipa has already become the first ndian woman gymnast to win a medal (a bronze) in the Commonwealth Games in 2014. She will hoping to better that feat at the Olympic stage.
The Indian women’s hockey team: The squad has qualified after having achieved a top five finish at the 2014–15 Women’s FIH Hockey World League Semifinals and what’s more delighting is that it’s their Olympic comeback after a long wait of 36 years, making the cut for this games.
Badminton players Saina Nehwal & P.V. Sindhu: World number 2 Indian Badminton ace Saina Nehwal will represent India for the third time, though she hopes to be injury-free to participate in this year’s Rio Games. P.V. Sindhu is the second women’s singles player in the Olympic, going for the first time.
Tennis ace Sania Mirza: The World No. 1 doubles player has made the Rio berth purely on the basis of her ranking in world tennis. She will partner with Rohan Bopanna in the mixed-doubles and in women’s doubles, Sania will be teaming up with Prarthana Thombare in the hope for a medal.
Athletics: Out of the 25 athletes who have been qualified, 13 are women.
Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand qualified for Rio Olympics in 100m, whereas Srabani Nanda made the cut in the 200m.
For 3000m steeplechase, Lalita Babar and Sudha Singh have managed a berth, O. P. Jaisha, Kavita Raut and Sudha Singh will be competing in the marathon, the 20-km walk will see Khushbir Kaur & Sapna Punia representing India, Tintu Luka will be running the 800m, while Manpreet Kaur will be participating in the shot-put event.
Meanwhile, Nirmala Sheoran became the first athlete from the ongoing senior National inter-state athletics meet to reach the Rio Olympics qualifying mark in the women’s 400m.
Asian Games discus throw gold medal winner Seema Punia qualified for the Rio Olympics as well for the third time.
Table Tennis players Manika Batra and Mouma Das: Ranked 115th in the world Manika and Mouma Das will be a major attraction from India this year in Rio.
Weightlifting: Indian weightlifters earned two quota places for Rio Olympics — one each in men’s and women’s sections.
Wrestling: Vinesh Phogat (48kg), Babita Kumari (53kg) and Sakshi Malik (58kg) are the finalists going to aim for Rio from India this year.
Swimming: Shivani Katariya is the solo women player from India who will be eyeing Rio medals.
We wish all the athletes a very good luck! Watch this space for updates about the Rio Olympic Games podium this year.
Feature image Credit:indianexpress.com