The 28th edition of the modern Olympic Games that is set to commence on the 5 August 2016 in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro and will witness the largest Indian contingent ever to compete for glory. It’s a combination of the relentless efforts put in by our talented athletes and some visionary programs undertaken by various foundations that sees the strength of our Olympic-bound outfit leaping to as high as 98, just eight years after the count had sunk to 56 in Beijing 2008.
With India taking steady strides towards a maiden double-digit medal tally at the Olympics, their belief has been reinforced by the improved faring over the past two editions –successive single-medal outcomes in 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens gave way to three podium finishes at Beijing 2008 and six in London 2012. Leading the brigade out into the middle at Rio’s Maracana Stadium on the opening day of the 2016 Games will be flag-bearer Abhinav Bindra.
Here’s a look at every Indian sportsperson to have qualified for Rio Olympics 2016:
Four Indian archers have booked their respective spots in the Rio Olympics 2016.
Atanu Das – The top-ranked Indian Atanu Das will compete in Rio after getting selected ahead of Mangal Singh Champia, a holder of 4 Archery World Cup Team Golds.
Deepika Kumari – Currently ranked No. 5 in the world, this former World No. 1 is right up there amongst the biggest Indian names likely to fetch a medal, given her participation in both the Individual and the team events. Rio will be Deepika’s second Olympics after a disappointing London 2012.
Laxmirani Majhi – She is part of the trio that won a silver medal at the Archery World Championships which was held in Copenhagen in August, and she will compete in Rio as part of the same trio.
Bombayla Devi – The final member of the medal-winning trio, she will join Kumari and Majhi in Rio.
With 10 men and 9 women to participate in Rio, India’s Athletics squad is the largest unit of individual Olympians this time.
Inderjeet Singh [Shot Put] – He qualified for the Olympics after winning the gold in Shotput at the Federation Cup in Mangalore.
Vikas Gowda [Discus Throw] – He has qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics after the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) lowered the entry standards for athletes in order to have more of them participate in the track and field events during the games.
Men’s 20km walk will feature three Indians:
Gurmeet Singh – was first to qualify after winning Asian 20km Race Walk Championships.
Baljinder Singh – will be looking to improve on his 1:25.39 timing of London 2012.
Irfan Kolothum Thodi – The army-man had clocked an impressive 1:20.21 at London 2012, finishing just a minute and 35 seconds behind the winner Ding Chen of China.
Sandeep Kumar – He will participate in the men’s 50km walk.
Manish Singh Rawat– He will also participate in the men’s 50km walk.
Nitender Singh Rawat [Marathon] – Rawat booked a spot for Rio 2016 at the Mumbai Marathon earlier this year.
Thonakal Gopi [Marathon] – Like Nitender, Gopi T also qualified for Rio 2016 at the Mumbai Marathon.
Kheta Ram [Marathon] – He was the third marathoner to book a Rio 2016 spot at the Mumbai Marathon.
Muhammad Anas – He will be competing in the men’s 400m race.
Ankit Sharma- Ankit made the cut in the Long Jump event.
Renjith Maheswary [Triple-jump]- Booked Olympics berth with thehelp of a naional record breaking performance during the 4th Indian Grand Prix, in Bangalore.
Dharambir Singh [200m race]-He is is first Indian to qualify for the Olympics in the 200m race category in 36 years.
Jinson Johnson [800m race]-He made a cut to the Olympics clocking 1:45:98 during the Indian Grand Prix
Men’s Team [4*400m]- Participants: Kunhu Muhammad, Muhammad Anas, Ayyasamy Dharun and Arokia Rajiv
Seema Antil [Discus Throw] – She won the gold medal at the Young Thrower’s Classic in Calfornia last month after convincing 62.62m throw that exceeded the Olympic qualification mark of 61m by a fair margin.
Manpreet Kaur – India found a second contender for a medal in the shot-put event in the form of Manpreet Kaur who qualified for the Games, after winning gold at the National Open Athletics Championships in Kolkata last September.
Lalita Babar – She made the cut courtesy a gold in the 3000m steeplechase event at the Asian Athletics Championships in June.
Tintu Luka – Tintu Luka qualified for the Rio Olympics in the women’s 800m event by virtue of a 2:00.95-minute finish at the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing that broke the cutoff mark of 2:01.00 by 5/100th of a second.
Kavita Raut – She won the women’s marathon event at the 12th South Asian Games this February, thereby booking her berth for the 2016 Rio Olympics after recording a time of 2:30:38 which was well within the Rio qualification mark of 2:42:00.
Sudha Singh – She won the silver medal at the 3000m steeplechase event at the Federation Cup in New Delhi in April 2016 to secure a berth at the Rio 2016 Olympics. She will also feature in the marathon team, joining Babar and Jaisha
OP Jaisha – She will feature in the marathon team.
Khushbir Kaur – India will have a sizeable contingent in the walk event with Khushbir Kaur featuring in the women’s 20km walk.
Sapna Punia – will join Khushbir in the 20km walk for India.
Dutee Chand – She will be the first sprinter after PT Usha to participate in the women’s 100m race.
Srabani Nanda- She made it through in the Women’s 200m event.
Nirmala Sheoran [400m category]- She qualified for the Olympics in the 400m category with a timing of timing of 51.48 seconds at the 56th National Inter State Senior Athletics Championship in Hyderabad.
Women’s Team [4*400m]- Participants: Ashwini Aakunji,Anu Raghavan, M.R.Poovamma and Anilda Thomas.