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Tokyo Olympics: Indian athletes who are closing in on a potential medal | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

July 29, 2021
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The Indian contingent in Tokyo is still waiting for its second medal. After a great start, courtesy Mirabai Chanu in women’s weightlifting, which gave India its first medal of the Tokyo Olympics (silver), the wait continues for medal number two.
Some of the big medal favourites from the Indian contingent, like Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat in wrestling and potentially, Neeraj Chopra in the Men’s javelin throw are yet to begin their campaigns.
Here’s a quick look at the Indian athletes who have qualified for the quarter-finals in their respective sports and are not very far away from clinching potential medals at the Games.
BADMINTON

PV Sindhu (Reuters Photo)
PV Sindhu– Plays her quarter final on Friday (July 30) vs 4th seed Akane Yamaguchi (Japan)
Silver medallist from the Rio Games in 2016, India’s PV Sindhu is one of the big medal favourites in these Games. She might be currently ranked 7th in the world and seeded 6th at the Games, but she has the skill set and temperament that is needed to end up on the Olympics podium. On Thursday, Sindhu beat Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark in straight games 21-15, 21-13 to enter her second successive Olympics quarter-finals (after the 2016 Games). She will now play her quarter final on Friday (July 30) against Japan’s number 4 seed Akane Yamaguchi at around 1:15 PM IST approximately.
Yamaguchi is ranked two places above Sindhu in the world rankings, at five. However, Sindhu enjoys a better head to head record against the Japanese player at 11-7.
If Sindhu wins her quarter final clash vs Yamaguchi, she faces a potential semi-final clash vs World Number 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
HOCKEY

Indian hockey players. (AP Photo)
Men’s hockey teamQualified for quarter-finals with a 3-1 win vs Argentina
Going into the Tokyo Olympics two things were being talked about the most as far as the Indian men’s hockey team is concerned. One, that they are in a tough pool, which also has the likes of world number one Australia, New Zealand, defending Olympic champions Argentina, Japan and Spain. And two – that this might be the best Indian team that’s been to the Olympics since the team of Sydney 2000.
Manpreet Singh and his boys did suffer a humiliating 7-1 loss at the hands of the Aussies, but they have won all their other three matches played so far. They beat New Zealand 2-1 and then bounced back from the loss vs Australia to beat Spain 3-0 and then pulled off a great win against the defending champions Argentina 3-1 to book their place in the quarter finals, with one game still in hand. Their quarter final opponent is yet to be decided. India will finish second in the group, behind Australia, even if they beat Japan and the Aussies lose their last match, because of the superior Goal difference that Australia enjoys. India will play the team which finishes third in Pool B.
BOXING

Lovlina Bogohain (AFP Photo)
Lovlina BorgohainIn quarter finals (one win away from an assured medal)
The legendary MC Mary Kom might have been ousted in the pre-quarters, but there are other Indian boxers who are still in with a chance to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Lovlina Bogohain became the first Indian boxer to enter the quarter finals at the Games, with a 3-2 win vs German welterweight Nadine Apetz on Tuesday. The 23 year old two time World Championship bronze medallist will now face Chen Nien-chin of Chinese Taipei on Friday. Nien-chin is a two time World Championship medallist. The 24 year old won the gold medal in the 2018 edition of the World Championships in New Delhi. A win in this 69kg bout will take Lovlina into the semi-finals in what are her debut Olympics and with that will guarantee an assured medal, at least a bronze for her.

Pooja Rani (PTI Photo)
Pooja RaniIn quarter finals (one win away from an assured medal)
Another Indian female boxer who stormed into the quarter finals is Pooja Rani in the 75 kg category. Pooja, who is also an Olympic debutant, outpunched Algeria’s Icharak Chaib in the pre-quarters to enter the last 8. Pooja won the bout on a unanimous verdict of 5-0 against Chaib, who is 10 years younger than her. Pooja, who is a two time Asian champion will face China’s Li Qian in the quarter finals next on Saturday (July 31). This could be a tough contest for Pooja, considering Qian is a bronze medallist from the last edition of the Games in Rio in 2016.

Satish Kumar (Getty Images)
Satish KumarIn quarter finals (one win away from an assured medal)
In the Men’s draw meanwhile, Satish Kumar made headlines when he beat Jamaica’s Ricardo Brown on Thursday with a 4-1 scoreline. The 32 year old Satish is now in the quarter finals of the Men’s Superheavyweight category and is just one win away from being assured a medal, at least a bronze. Satish will now play Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan in the quarter finals on Sunday. This will not be an easy contest for Satish, considering Jalolov is the reigning world champion in this weight category.





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