Preparations are in full swing as India preps for the Tokyo Olympics. India is sending a contingent to Tokyo in 14 sports events including badminton, wrestling, etc. Keeping in mind the athletes’ world ranking, their recent performances which contributed to their world ranking there is a good chance that India might bring more medals than they did in the Rio Olympics. However, some athletes’ performances will be dearly missed as they failed to qualify for the Olympics this year.
It has been very uncertain 18 months for the athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic with many tournaments and sports events getting cancelled or postponed. As a result, these athletes failed to get a good ranking within the Olympic Qualification Time to make their way to the Tokyo Olympics.
#1 Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal is one of the most dependable player for India in the Olympics. The 31-year old shuttler failed to qualify for the Olympics this year due to the cancellation of the Singapore Open. The badminton ace won India’s first Olympic medal in her sport and the only Indian to have won at least one medal in each BWF (Badminton World Federation) major individual event, i.e. Olympics, BWF World Championships, and BWF World Junior Championships. She is also the first Indian to have won a Superseries title. With these wins under her belt, she would have been a good competition had she qualified.
#2 Kidambi Srikanth
The Badminton player who played in the Rio Olympics of 2016 with a rank of World No. 11, also failed to qualify for the Olympics due to the cancellation of the Singapore Open. The 28-year old missed the qualification by just a couple of quarterfinal wins. He would have been a good medal contender at the Olympics but due to his rank at world no. 20 in the Race to Tokyo Olympics, he will not be joining the badminton contingent.
#3 Jitu Rai
Jitu Rai had a lot of hopes riding on him during the 2016 Rio Olympics but with his eighth position in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol, he was not able to win a medal in the field of shooting. With a gold in the 2017 World Cup and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, he would have been a good medal contender for Tokyo. However, without a place in the National Team, he was unable to represent India for qualification.
#4 Sakshi Malik
Sakshi Malik became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal in the field of wrestling. The 28-year-old won a bronze medal in the Rio Olympics in the 58 kg category. However, she has been unable to keep up her performance level. Her bronze medal in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the Asian Championships in Xi’an was not enough to get her a seat at the Tokyo Olympics. The Olympic medalist was defeated by Sonam Malik three times in the 62 kg category including the Asian Wrestling Championships in February 2020 and National Championships in 2021.
#5 Dipa Karmakar
Dipa Karmakar, who wowed everyone with her proficiency in the vault of death or Produnova in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She came fourth in the 2016 Olympics and had high expectations to beat her mark in the Olympics this year. However, fate had different plans since two World Cups got cancelled while a third one got postponed by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) due to the pandemic and the gymnast had a requirement to compete in three World Cups to get a good ranking and win a seat at the Tokyo Olympics.