PTI takes a have a look at the 5 men and 4 ladies, who could be aiming to make amends for the no medal present within the 2016 Rio Olympics within the competitors beginning July 24 on the Ryogoku Kokugikan enviornment, primarily a sumo wrestling venue, within the Japanese capital.
AMIT PANGHAL (52kg): This flyweight is shouldering expectations that might be sufficient to lavatory down a brilliant heavyweight in some circumstances. The world primary, the highest seed, Panghal is being seen as a positive-shot medal for India in Tokyo. He is aware of it and he’s revelling within the highlight.
The Armyman from Haryana is a pleasant combine of managed aggression and tactical acumen. His cupboard already has the World Championships and Commonwealth Games silver medals, an Asian Games gold medal, and a number of Asian Championships medals.
Competing in his maiden Olympics, the 25-12 months-outdated has been unstoppable for the previous 4 years, beginning with a breakthrough Asian Championships bronze again in 2017. Even in loss, he has hardly regarded outplayed. But he does know his weaknesses nicely. A late starter and somebody who tends to put on off a bit within the last three minutes, Panghal says he has addressed the problems in his determined pursuit of an Olympic medal.
MANISH KAUSHIK (63kg): Also a debutant, additionally an Armyman and in addition a 25-12 months-outdated. Kaushik is the traditional darkish horse. He is not the one hogging highlight however earlier than you understand it, he would possibly simply have booked a medal.It occurred on the 2018 Commonwealth Games (silver), it additionally occurred on the 2019 world championships (bronze).
The gentle-spoken son of a farmer from Devsar village of Bhiwani, that famed cradle of Indian boxing, Kaushik has harboured Olympic desires for the reason that time he noticed Vijender Singh win that historic bronze within the 2008 Beijing version.
Last 12 months he was out of motion for almost 10 months after selecting up a bicep damage through the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jordan. The Olympic postponement was truly a blessing for the boxer, who has labored on making his punches extra impactful and enhance stamina.
A bout of COVID-19 stored him from competing within the Asian Championships earlier this 12 months however he has recovered nicely sufficient to be a powerful guess if not one of the best guess for a medal.
VIKAS KRISHAN (69kg): Here comes the veteran of the pack. A two-time Olympian, among the many most adorned boxers of all time in India, a person so skilled that he might nicely put collectively an inventory of dos and don’ts for all of the debutants with him.
Another Haryana-fighter, Krishan personifies tact in boxing. He likes to plan is each transfer and on most instances, he executes them to perfection. Having dropped the nonchalance of his early days, Krishan has grown right into a extra sorted fighter, thanks in no small measure to his stint within the US skilled boxing circuit.
The 29-12 months-outdated will compete in his third and last Olympics and has ironed out some main chinks in his armour — stability within the ring, shut vary boxing and the jab. He says his jab is now almost excellent.
To get there, he has made sacrifices — massive and small — the massive one being staying away from his younger youngsters. He has seen them “grow up in photographs” up to now one 12 months.
ASHISH KUMAR (75kg): The gritty buyer from Himachal Pradesh’s Sundar Nagar. He made the lower for Tokyo, a month after dropping his father final 12 months. The 26-12 months-outdated has been making regular progress in a weight class which a sure Vijender Singh made his personal by scripting historical past greater than as soon as.
Ashish’s Olympic journey hasn’t been the simplest. He misplaced the person who needed to see him attain this level a month earlier than he made the lower. And this 12 months, COVID-19 caught him throughout a match in Spain. His athletic physique absorbed the blow and he confirmed no signs.
Ashish appeared a bit off-color within the current Asian championships the place a bronze got here his method however the way in which he has battled adversities outdoors the ring, the Tehsil Welfare Officer in Himachal Pradesh’s social justice division will not be the one to be taken calmly on the Games.
SATISH KUMAR (+91kg): The first tremendous heavyweight to qualify for the Games however the one about whom not many are speaking about. The 32-12 months-outdated is the oldest of the 5-robust males’s squad however shock, shock, he’s an Olympic debutant.
Another farmer’s son from Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahar, Satish has medals on the Commonwealth in addition to the Asian Games.
“Hamara naam kabhi akhbaar mein aata hi nahi, bout hi itne late hote hain hamare. Meri biwi ko doubt hota hai kabhi kabhi ke main boxer hun bhi ya nahi (My wife sometimes doubts if I am a boxer at all),” he had as soon as stated with a straight face reflecting on his relative anonymity brought on by order of bouts which leaves the heavier classes for later and thereby out of newspaper studies.
He claims to have labored on a secret technique for the Olympics and tempo is one other side during which he hopes to be a step forward of the remainder as heavier weight divisions should not significantly fast-transferring within the ring.
MC MARY KOM (51kg): If there’s a identify in Indian boxing which wants no introduction, it’s Mary Kom. This 38-12 months-outdated icon could be eyeing a second Olympic medal, one thing that places her heads and shoulders above all else within the Indian crew.
A six-time world champion, her achievements and medals have turn into a bit tough to maintain depend of. And the astonishing half, the Manipuri is not displaying any indicators of slowing down.
The ring is sort of actually her playground and it has remained so for greater than twenty years now.
Among the sharpest movers within the ring on the peak of her prowess, Mary Kom is, nonetheless, candid sufficient to confess that she has slowed down however to make up for that, she has labored on including extra muscle and thereby extra energy to her punches.
It stays to be seen how she handles the youthful competitors which awaits her on the Games. She is fittingly one of the 2 flag-bearers of the Indian contingent and has sharpened her hook to be sure that no one takes her calmly.
SIMRANJIT KAUR (60kg): A powerhouse of expertise from Punjab’s Chakar village in Ludhiana, the 26-12 months-outdated misplaced her each day wager father in 2018, 4 months earlier than she picked up her maiden world championship medal.
The sole breadwinner of her household, Kaur fought a battle of types outdoors the ring too when she stored knocking on Punjab authorities’s door for a job to make sure that her sporting ambitions don’t fall by the wayside in desperation to help her mom and two youthful brothers.
She nonetheless hasn’t obtained the job regardless of innumerable guarantees from the worthies in her state authorities. Aggression is the largest asset of this fighter with an imposing body and her punches have onerous-to-miss energy however she wish to be a bit extra in management when up towards dogged defenders, who’re good at taking benefit of her pure instincts to launch into an offensive.
She endured a bout of COVID-19 in May when there was a virus outbreak within the nationwide camp and her signs have been fairly extreme for an excellent 2-3 days.
LOVLINA BORGOHAIN (69kg) The youngest within the Tokyo-bound ladies’s boxing crew is a low-profile, excessive-performing asset. The 23-12 months-outdated began out as a kickboxer, took to boxing at school and has since turn into a two-time world championship medallist already (2018 and 2019).
Her construct-as much as the Games has additionally been rocky. The teenager missed a coaching journey to Italy on the fag finish of final 12 months, testing constructive for COVID-19 a day earlier than departure. She had travelled to her hometown in Assam to go to her ailing mom and got here again to check constructive for the virus, robbing her of essential coaching and aggressive publicity.
Considered a technically sound boxer, it will be fascinating to see how she responds to the strain of being on the greatest sporting present.
POOJA RANI (75kg): A battle-hardened veteran, who felt shy to put on the gloves at the start of her profession as “they look awkward on a girl”. The 30-12 months-outdated has come a good distance since these days to be an Olympian.
A product of Bhiwani’s strong boxing tradition, she had stored her sporting foray a secret from her father as she feared being stopped, even going to the extent of hiding her accidents by staying over buddies’ locations.
She hasn’t had the simplest of journeys. Her troubles started when she burnt her hand throughout Diwali celebrations in 2016, which was adopted by a profession-threatening shoulder damage in 2017.
She had given up on herself by that point however not fully. Alone with no sponsors, she fought again to avoid wasting her profession and the perseverance paid off. She is now certain for Tokyo, the place a bit of that perseverance would possibly simply assist her get to the head.