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5 Sports in Which India Can Aim a Medal in TOKYO 2020

India winning just two medals at Rio Olympics with other medal prospect looking
bleak does not reflect the true medal winning potential which exists in Indian
athletes. Meagre spending on sports is hurting Indias medal winning chances in a
big way. The amount of funds that the athletes receive for preparing themselves for
the big occasion is a fraction of what other countries spend on their athletes. In a
recent report it has been found out that UK spends 5.5 million Euros for every medal
that it wins. This is the sort of investment which is required if we expect are athletes
to outperform their peers at such a grand event. Apart from this sports is not the
first choice as career for most sports persons and most of them drop out because of
high risk, uncertainty and low rewards, which needs to be addressed by the
government by coming up with schemes that incentivize sporting culture in India.
With such shoddy state of affair let us look at some sports which according to me
can win us medals in 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
1. Field Hockey
Over a long period of time Indian hockey was dominant in the Olympic competitions
winning 11 out of 12 times between 1920 and 1980. However the state of affairs
started deteriorating after adoption of synthetic courts in all major tournaments.
India had last made it to the knockout stages in 1980 Moscow Olympics. This was
also the Games in which it won last of their eight gold medals in hockey. After a gap
of 36 long years India made it into the knockout stages of hockey at Rio Olympics.
The hockey team has shown tremendous improvement under the guidance of Coach
Roelant Oltmans, which raises our hope from the team for a medal in 2020. We
need to take one step at a time Indian hockey team did not qualify for 2008 games,
then ended up at 12th position at the London games and improved in this Olympics
loosing after reaching the Quarterfinals. The team is showing constant improvement
which raises my hopes for a podium finish at the next games.
2. Shooting
India in 2016 sent a contingent of 12 members for shooting. The hope for a medal
from this contingent were high but things could not materialize well leaving the
medal tally empty. However in the Indian Olympic history shooting is a sport that
India has excelled at in the recent past four Olympic medals, second only to
hockey, including a gold, two silver and one bronze. Therefore in-spite of a dull show
in the current games the sentiments are bullish of India winning medals in shooting
in the 2020 Tokyo games.
Over the past few years the infrastructure provided to the Indian shooters have also
improved drastically. The state administrations are also very active, and there is a
good policy in place where there are 6 to 7 trails everywhere from which the best

athletes are chosen to participate in tournaments. A combination of both I


improvement in both infrastructure and administration raises our hopes of medals
from shooting.

3. Gymnastics
Dipa Karmakar became the first women gymnast to qualify for Olympics as she
booked a berth for her in the Rio games after her stellar performance in world
championship in 2015. She became the first female gymnast to qualify for the
quadrennial mega event after 52 years. Karmakar is one of the five women that
have successfully landed the very difficult Produnova vault in competition, also
holding the highest score amongst all (15.100) in her attempt. She comes from a
remote state Tripura where infrastructure is rudimentary. In spite of her not winning
a medal in the games she has won billions of hearts and inspired a huge amount of
people coming from remote states where infrastructural facilities are not up to the
mark to pick up the game and excel.
Therefore after such a stellar show in this Olympics we at least expect a podium
finish from some of our gymnast in the next game.
4. Badminton
In Olympics history India has only won two medals in Badminton. In 2012 London
Games it was Saina Nehwal who created history winning a bronze medal and in this
years Rio games it was PV Sindhu who outperformed her colleague and won a silver
medal for India. One thing which makes me bullish for Indias medal chances in the
next Olympics from Badminton is that there are a number of quality players with
age by their side. PV Sindhu is just 21 years old peaking in her career therefore if
she can sustain this momentum for the next few years and take her game a notch
further then there are very bright chances of a medal in the next games.
Even in the mens category there are players like Kidambi Srikanth who came
extremely close to winning medal in this games but missed marginally. A slight
improvement in their games in the coming years would increase their chances of
ensuring a podium finish considerably.
5. Wrestling
Despite of the doping controversies with which some of the players are mired with
and poor performance of the players in Rio 2016 games wrestling, wrestling is a
sport from which expectations for medal always remain high. In London Olympics of
2012 Sushil Kumar bettered his 2008 performance and won a silver medal capturing
the imagination of Indian masses which gave the sport a huge boost in both
viewership and infrastructure availability. The fiasco at the Rio Olympics of not
winning a medal in men category was amply balanced by Sakshi Maliks heroics. A
small town girl coming from Haryana bulldozed the opponents winning a bronze
medal of India and opening the medal tally at Rio. Such inspirational stories are

bound to inspire the untapped talent who have it in them to excel at international
level but due to lack of resources and unavailability of infrastructure are unable to
pursue the sport.