5 Indian sportspersons who can make a difference in 2020
2020 is the first year of a new decade and with the turn of a new page, it brings renewed hope and vigor. For the sports fraternity, it means an eagerly-awaited Tokyo Olympics. India has a number of sportspersons who are willing to make their presence felt at the event and will try and reach the podium.
Here, we take a look at the five sportspersons who can make a difference in 2020, Olympics and otherwise.
Vinesh was at her best during the World Wrestling Championships in 2019, winning the Bronze in the 53 kg weight category. She defeated Greece’s Maria Prevolaraki 4-1 to become India’s first wrestler to qualify for Tokyo 2020. She’s the only female wrestler from India to make the cut through World Championships, and that strengthens her claim to a medal at the quadrennial event.
The diminutive boxer transitioned from one weight category to another in 2019, but that didn’t change his habit of winning. He now competes in the 51 kg category and won the silver at the Men’s World Championships, the first-ever India boxer to achieve the feat. Since changing his weight category, the 23-year-old has also lifted the gold at the Asian Championships, proving why he’s so highly regarded amongst Indian fans.
Sathiyan, on his day, is a giant-killer who absorbs opposition attacks with immaculate ease and converts them into points. He became the first Indian to break into the top-25 of the ITTF world rankings rising to 24 in July 2019. He made it to Tokyo by finishing sixth at his first-ever Asian Cup. The paddler has already defeated Harimoto Tomokazu, the World No. 5. 2020 has a lot in store for him, if only he manages to work more on his offense.
The Indian middle-order in the limited-overs format has been a seepage bag for a long time now. After Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant, India has got Shreyas Iyer who looks confident and capable to hold an innings together if the top order fails. The Delhi Capitals captain was in good form and looked in the right frame of mind needed for the key middle-order. With the T20 World Cup slated to be played in October, Iyer looks set to play a big role.
With the world record smashed already, Saurabh Chaudhary looks set for a medal at Tokyo 2020. The sharp-shooter won the gold at the ISSF World Cup individually, and also won the gold in mixed-doubles with another Indian prodigy, Manu Bhaker. He finished No. 1 at the Munich World Cup, won the bronze at the Rio de Janeiro World Cup and bagged silver at Asian Shooting Championships. He’s one to watch out for, and India is pinning its hope on his broad and stable shoulders.
Neeraj Chopra came in close consideration, but his fitness still stands questioned. If he is at the top of his game, he can be one of the biggest achievers at the Olympics. India stands to gain from these five promising, talented sportspersons in the upcoming year, and with a little luck, all of them have the ability to win medals for the tri-color.
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