The Tokyo Olympics are just around the corner, and India will be sending its largest contingent yet. India is also expected to win its biggest medal haul ever, with some of the best Indian athletes making their way to the Olympics this year. The Tokyo Olympics will be held under strict restrictions, for the safety of the athletes, coaches and staff as the Covid-19 Pandemic rages on.
India will be sending its largest ever wrestling contingent and shooting contingent, and the men’s and women’s hockey teams are looking strong this year. Several athletes like Deepika Kumari, Vinesh Phogat, Saurabh Choudhary, Bajrang Punia, and Neeraj Chopra are serious contenders to finish on the podium this year. Let us take a look at Indian Athletes that will be going into the Tokyo Olympics ranked no. 1 in the world.
Indian Athletes Ranked World No. 1 Before the Tokyo Olympics
Vinesh Phogat- Wrestling
Vinesh Phogat will be going into the Tokyo Olympics ranked no. 1, and will be the top-seeded wrestler in the 53kg category. Phogat recently won gold at the Poland Open in 2021, asserting her dominance as she makes her way to the Tokyo Olympics.
Vinesh Phogat has had a consistent performance over the last few years, winning the Rome Ranking Series in 2020. She also won the 2021 Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial Tournament by defeating the 2017 World Champion, Vanesa Kaladzinskay. She also took gold again at the 2021 Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event, defeating the current world no. 2, Diana Mary Helen Weicker.
Vinesh is definitely a medal contender at the Tokyo Olympics, after a disappointing experience at the Rio Olympics where she had to withdraw due to injury. Here is a list of Phogat’s recent achievements:
|2018 Asian Championships||Silver|
|2019 Asian Championships||Bronze|
|2020 Asian Championships||Bronze|
|2021 Asian Championships||Gold|
|2018 Asian Games||Gold|
|2018 Commonwealth Games||Gold|
|2019 World Championships||Bronze|
Deepika Kumari- Archery
Deepika Kumari has become synonymous with archery in India and is considered to be one of the greatest archers in India. Kumari will be making her way to her third Olympics this year and will be hoping to finish on the podium. Kumari recently took home the gold medal in the Hyundai Archery World Cup Stage 3 in Paris in the Women’s Individual event as well as the Mixed team.
Deepika has an average arrow throw of 9.29 and took home gold at the Hyundai World Cup Stage 1 as well. The power couple of Deepika and Atanu Das are looking hopeful to win a medal in the mixed team event at the Olympics. Here is a list of Deepika Kumari’s latest achievements:
|2021 Archery World Cup Stage 1- Individual Recurve||Gold|
|2021 Archery World Cup Stage 1- Women’s Team||Gold|
|2021 Archery World Cup Stage 3- Individual Recurve||Gold|
|2021 Archery World Cup Stage 3- Women’s Team||Gold|
|2021 Archery World Cup Stage 3- Mixed Team||Gold|
Amit Panghal- Boxing
Amit Panghal is the only Indian male boxer to win a world boxing championships silver medal and is the current world No. 1 in International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) 52kg category. In March 2020, he secured his spot at the Tokyo Olympics by beating Philippines’ Carlo Paalam. In December of the same year, he won a gold medal in the 2020 Boxing World Cup held in Germany.
Amit Panghal first made waves in the international circuit when he won a bronze medal at the 2017 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships. In April 2019 he won the Gold Medal at Asian Boxing Championship 2019 after defeating South Korea’s Kim In-kyu. Here are Amit Panghal’s latest achievements:
|2018 Asian Games||Gold|
|2018 Commonwealth Games||Silver|
|2019 World Championships||Silver|
|2019 Asian Championships||Gold|
|2021 Asian Championships||Silver|
Yashaswini Deswal is a 10m air pistol shooter, who will be going into the Tokyo Olympics ranked first in the world. In 2019 Deswal asserted her dominance by winning the 2019 Rio de Janeiro ISSF World Cup, defeating Olena Kostevych, s former Olympic and World Champion.
At the 2017 ISSF Junior World Championship, Deswal won the gold medal and in the process equaled the world junior record of 235.9. Deswal also bagged medals in the Women’s 10 m pistol team and the 10 m air pistol mixed team. Here is a list of Deswal’s recent achievements:
|2019 Rio de Janeiro ISSF World Cup||10m air pistol||Gold|
|2019 Rio de Janeiro ISSF World Cup||10 m air pistol mixed team||Silver|
|2021 Delhi ISSF World Cup||10m air pistol||Gold|
|2021 Delhi ISSF World Cup||10 m air pistol mixed team||Bronze|
|2021 Delhi ISSF World Cup||10 m air pistol Women’s team||Gold|
|2021 Osijek ISSF World Cup||Women’s 10 m pistol team||Bronze|
|2019 Asian Shooting Championships||10 m air pistol mixed team||Silver|
At just 21 years old, Elavenil Valarivan is already dominating the 10m air rifle event and is ranked no. 1 in the world. Elavenil already impressed the world when she was a junior, winning 4 gold medals, 3 of them being in the women’s 10m air rifle.
At the 10m air rifle 2017 Asian Air Gun Championships, Taipei, she clinched her first individual gold medal in the senior category with a score of 250.5. Her four medals at the World Championships definitely make her a force to be reckoned with. Here are Elavenil’s latest achievements:
|2018 ISSF Shooting World Championships||10m air rifle women||Silver|
|2019 Asian Airgun Championships||10m air rifle women||Gold|
|2019 ISSF World Cup||10m air rifle women||Gold|
|2019 ISSF World Cup Finals||10m air rifle women||Gold|