A look at some Indians who have a chance. Past form at big meets, recent performances as well as strength of field are taken into consideration.
Amit Panghal 25 boxing 52kg
Has enjoyed serene progress since surprising the Olympic champion, Hasanboy Dusmatov, at the Asian Games in 2018. Added worlds silver in 2019 apart from picking up a number of medals in other international events. That he is first in his discipline is a reflection of his stature. Has managed to train and compete outside the country a number of times.
Vinesh Phogat 26 wrestling 53kg
She has not missed training and has got some invaluable competition under her belt this year. At the Matteo Pellicone Ranking event in March, she won gold without conceding a point. At Tokyo, her ranking (No. 1) could help in that she could get a good draw on her stature. The work she has done with Hungarian coach Voller Akos could prove decisive.
Mirabai Chanu 26 weightlifting 49kg
Grown in stature after winning a World’s gold in 2017. In April she lifted a world record 119kg in clean and jerk en route bronze at the Asian C’ships. North Korea’s Song Gum Ri will be missing from the Olympics as the country has pulled out, a bonus.
PV Sindhu 26 badminton
The only time she has failed to medal at big events was at the 2015 Worlds. Incredibly, she has five Worlds medals and one Olympic medal. She is, in essence, an un-Indian athlete in the sense that she saves her best for the big occasions. What will help her cause is the injury to Carolina Marin, the Spaniard who beat her to gold in 2016.
Neeraj Chopra 23 athletics (javelin)
A throw of touch above 85m is usually good enough for a medal. The national record holder is someone who doesn’t usually allow the big moments to bog him down. Also take into consideration that 2016 champ Thomas Roller is out.
Sharath, Manika, Mixed tt
They complement each other. Sharath attacks while Manika is more measured. As they showed at the qualifying event in April as well as at the Asian Games in 2018, they are capable of taking down bigger players. With just 16 pairs, winning two matches will put them in contention.
Saurabh, Manu, mixed 10m ap
As a team, they have pretty much been a lock for medals at various international shooting events since they started competing as a pair in 2019. They have won half-a-dozen medals when competing as a pair, with their last medal—a silver—coming at the World Cup in Osijek in June.
Others in fray
Deepika Kumari Archery
Rahi Sa rnobat Shooting
Men’s team Hockey
Lovlina Borgohain Boxing
Ba jrang Punia Wrestling