Nations all across the world are gearing up for the Tokyo Olympics which is scheduled to take place in Tokyo from July 23rd to August 8th, 2021. The Olympics which were supposed to take place in the year 2020 had to be postponed to this year in light of the global pandemic of COVID-19.
The Summer Games is around the corner and the organisers have overcome great hurdles to bring the quadrennial event to its admirers. With only 22 days to go for the Tokyo Olympics, the first of its kind following the deadly pandemic, let’s take a look at India’s medal events on day one of the Games as they aim for a historic medal bounty at the first Olympics of the decade.
Medal events for India on Day 1 of Tokyo Olympics
Ace Indian judoka Sushila Devi qualified for the Tokyo Olympics through the continental quota. This will be Sushila’s first participation at the Olympics and she will be in action on the very first day. Ranked 46 in the women’s 48kg class, Sushila Devi is now at the Chateau Gontier in France, completing a month-long training camp.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games medalist is the lone Indian judoka representing the nation. Ahead of her travel to Tokyo, she will be in New Delhi, further fine-tuning her skills. The hopes of the nation rest on her shoulder and she will be looking to make a mark on her maiden Olympic appearance.
Shooting: 10m Air Pistol Men
India’s top two shooters of the event, Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma will be in action in medal events on the very first day of the Games. Despite being lower ranked than teammate Abhishek, Saurabh has been the more consistent one in the 10m air pistol event. He has finished on the podium in all but one competition he’s taken part in.
Saurabh has participated in seven World Cups since 2019, winning 2 golds, a silver and two bronzes. Since competing for the first time as a senior in 2018, he’s made the final of every tournament he’s qualified in. Currently ranked world number 2 in the Tokyo 2020 Rankings as well as 2021 World Rankings, it would be a big disappointment if Saurabh fails to bring home a medal.
Shooting: 10m Air Rifle Women
The 10m air rifle event for women will see Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan in action on the very first day. Elavenil is India’s brightest hope in the event and all eyes will be on her in the medal event. The Tamil Nadu-born shooter first burst onto the scene by winning the 2018 Sydney ISSF Junior World Cup gold with a world record qualification score of 631.4.
As time passed, she continued to improve as she set her foot in the senior team. Elavenil is the top-ranked shooter in the event and all eyes will be on her performance on the opening day. Anjum and Apurvi too will be striving to make a mark in the individual event as they chase consistency in the build-up to the Summer Games.
The first day of the Summer Games will see Indian women weightlifter Mirabai Chanu. She is the lone Indian to qualify for the quadrennial event and will be in action on the very first day of the Games. The weightlifter has shown time and again that she is a force to be reckoned with, with her wins in the arena namely the 2017 Anaheim World Championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Her bronze medal along with a world record in the clean and jerk weightlifting in the 2020 Tashkent Asian Championships assured her qualification for the Olympics this year. With North Korea’s withdrawal from the Olympics, she has been ranked at World No.2 in the 49kg category with 4133,6172 points and stands a good chance to win a gold medal this year giving India the perfect start.