PTI takes a have a look at the 5 men and 4 ladies, who can 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 bathroom down a brilliant heavyweight in some instances. The world primary, the highest seed, Panghal is being seen as a sure-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 mixture of managed aggression and tactical acumen. His cupboard already has the World Championships and Commonwealth Video games silver medals, an Asian Video games gold medal, and a number of Asian Championships medals.
Competing in his maiden Olympics, the 25-year-old has been unstoppable for the previous 4 years, beginning with a breakthrough Asian Championships bronze again in 2017. Even in loss, he has hardly seemed outplayed. However he does know his weaknesses nicely. A late starter and somebody who tends to put on off a bit within the closing three minutes, Panghal says he has addressed the problems in his determined pursuit of an Olympic medal.
MANISH KAUSHIK (63kg): Additionally a debutant, additionally an Armyman and in addition a 25-year-old. Kaushik is the traditional darkish horse. He is not the one hogging highlight however earlier than it, he would possibly simply have booked a medal.It occurred on the 2018 Commonwealth Video games (silver), it additionally occurred on the 2019 world championships (bronze).
The soft-spoken son of a farmer from Devsar village of Bhiwani, that famed cradle of Indian boxing, Kaushik has harboured Olympic desires because the time he noticed Vijender Singh win that historic bronze within the 2008 Beijing version.
Final 12 months he was out of motion for almost 10 months after choosing up a bicep damage in the course of the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jordan. The Olympic postponement was really a blessing for the boxer, who has labored on making his punches extra impactful and enhance stamina.
A bout of COVID-19 saved him from competing within the Asian Championships earlier this 12 months however he has recovered nicely sufficient to be a robust guess if not the most effective guess for a medal.
VIKAS KRISHAN (69kg): Right 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.
One other Haryana-fighter, Krishan personifies tact in boxing. He likes to plan is each transfer and on most occasions, 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-year-old will compete in his third and closing 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 good.
To get there, he has made sacrifices — large and small — the large one being staying away from his younger kids. He has seen them “develop up in images” previously one 12 months.
ASHISH KUMAR (75kg): The gritty buyer from Himachal Pradesh’s Sundar Nagar. He made the lower for Tokyo, a month after shedding his father final 12 months. The 26-year-old 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-colour within the latest 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 evenly on the Video games.
SATISH KUMAR (+91kg): The primary tremendous heavyweight to qualify for the Video games however the one about whom not many are speaking about. The 32-year-old is the oldest of the five-strong males’s squad however shock, shock, he’s an Olympic debutant.
One other farmer’s son from Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahar, Satish has medals on the Commonwealth in addition to the Asian Video games.
“Hamara naam kabhi akhbaar mein aata hello nahi, bout hello itne late hote hain hamare. Meri biwi ko doubt hota hai kabhi kabhi ke foremost boxer hun bhi ya nahi (My spouse typically doubts if I’m a boxer in any respect),” he had as soon as mentioned 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 experiences.
He claims to have labored on a secret technique for the Olympics and tempo is one other facet by which he hopes to be a step forward of the remainder as heavier weight divisions are usually not significantly quick-moving within the ring.
MC MARY KOM (51kg): If there’s a title in Indian boxing which wants no introduction, it’s Mary Kom. This 38-year-old icon can be eyeing a second Olympic medal, one thing that places her heads and shoulders above all else within the Indian group.
A six-time world champion, her achievements and medals have grow to be a bit troublesome to maintain depend of. And the astonishing half, the Manipuri is not exhibiting any indicators of slowing down.
The ring is kind of actually her playground and it has remained so for greater than twenty years now.
Among the many sharpest movers within the ring on the peak of her prowess, Mary Kom is, nevertheless, 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 Video games. She is fittingly one of many two flag-bearers of the Indian contingent and has sharpened her hook to be sure that no one takes her evenly.
SIMRANJIT KAUR (60kg): A powerhouse of expertise from Punjab’s Chakar village in Ludhiana, the 26-year-old misplaced her each day wager father in 2018, 4 months earlier than she picked up her maiden world championship medal.
The only breadwinner of her household, Kaur fought a battle of kinds outdoors the ring too when she saved 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 acquired 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 hard-to-miss energy however she want to be a bit extra in management when up towards dogged defenders, who’re good at making the most of her pure instincts to launch into an offensive.
She endured a bout of COVID-19 in Could when there was a virus outbreak within the nationwide camp and her signs had been fairly extreme for a superb 2-3 days.
LOVLINA BORGOHAIN (69kg) The youngest within the Tokyo-bound ladies’s boxing group is a low-profile, high-performing asset. The 23-year-old began out as a kickboxer, took to boxing at school and has since grow to be a two-time world championship medallist already (2018 and 2019).
Her build-up to the Video games has additionally been rocky. The teenager missed a coaching journey to Italy on the fag finish of final 12 months, testing optimistic 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 optimistic for the virus, robbing her of essential coaching and aggressive publicity.
Thought of a technically sound boxer, it could be attention-grabbing to see how she responds to the stress of being on the largest sporting present.
POOJA RANI (75kg): A battle-hardened veteran, who felt shy to put on the gloves originally of her profession as “they appear awkward on a lady”. The 30-year-old has come a great distance since these days to be an Olympian.
A product of Bhiwani’s sturdy boxing tradition, she had saved 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 pals’ 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 career-threatening shoulder damage in 2017.
She had given up on herself by that point however not totally. Alone with no sponsors, she fought again to save lots of her profession and the perseverance paid off. She is now sure for Tokyo, the place a little bit of that perseverance would possibly simply assist her get to the head.