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Mirabai, Mary Kom, Lovina and Deepika unsheath India’s women power at Tokyo Olympics

World No. 1 Deepika Kumari held on to her nerves as she moved into the round of 16 in the individual competition of the women's archery event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on Wednesday

There's still a long way to go for the closing ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games but if India were to move up in the medal's tally in the coming days, the onus almost solely lies on the country's women athletes.

With just one medal, a silver won by weightlifter Mirabai Chanu on the opening day of the Games, India is currently on the 42nd spot in the medal table with even countries like Kosovo, Serbia and Tunisia ahead of it.

All of it can change if archer Deepika Kumari, Rio Olympics silver medalist PV Sindhu and boxers MC Mary Kom, Pooja Rani and Lovlina Borgohain continue with their splendid show in Tokyo.

India has sent its largest ever Olympic contingent of 127 athletes in 18 disciplines to the Japanese capital which includes the all-time highest female representation of 56 sportspersons.

Mary Kom Tokyo Olympics

Mary Kom takes on Colombia's Ingrit Valencia on Thursday

As high-ranked male participants from the country crashed out of medal contention one after another in various events, their female counterparts have still kept the hopes of over 130 crore Indians alive.

Showing enough power, precision and skills they have emerged victorious in high-octane contests to keep the Indian flag flying in the world's biggest sporting extravaganza.  

Some of them, like Pooja and Lovlina, both making their Olympics debut, are now just a step away from ensuring at least a bronze medal at the Games.

After 23-year-old Lovlina, the first woman boxer from Assam to qualify for Olympics, entered the welter (64-69kg) quarterfinal on Tuesday, Pooja beat Algeria's Ichrak Chaib in the women's middle (69-75kg) category round of 16 bout on Wednesday afternoon to bring huge cheers in the Indian camp.
 Tokyo Olympics

Lovlina Borgohain locks horns with Taiwanese boxing star Nien-Chin Chen in the quarterfinals on Friday 

An Asian champion since 2019, 30-year-old Pooja hails from Haryana's Bhiwani, also called as 'mini Cuba' by many for the number of boxers the district has given to the country, including Vijender Singh who won a historic bronze – India's first in boxing – at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

A win in their quarterfinal bout will seal an Olympic medal for the Indian boxers as both losing semifinalists get a medal at the Olympics.

The next three days will witness some intense action in the boxing ring for the Indians as Mary Kom takes on Colombia's Ingrit Valencia on Thursday, Lovlina locking horns with Taiwanese boxing star Nien-Chin Chen on Friday and Pooja fighting her second bout on Saturday.

In archery, even as Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav bowed out of the Olympics today, World No. 1 Deepika Kumari held on to her nerves as she moved into the round of 16 in the individual competition.  

This is the third Olympics for the 27-year-old ace Indian recurve archer and she remains a big medal hope, especially after a superb showing in the World Cup held in Paris last month.

A hat-trick of Olympic medals in badminton is also expected with shuttler P V Sindhu advancing to the knockout stage on Wednesday.

After Saina Nehwal became the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal at the 2012 London Games, Sindhu clinched a silver at the Rio Olympics – the only other medal won by India at the 2016 Games along with wrestler Sakshi Malik's bronze.

With Chanu already back home with a silver, will the women power once again save India blushes at the Tokyo Olympics?  

All hope is not lost from men as the Indian men's hockey team is keeping the medal hopes alive while there are also the likes of wrestler Bajrang Punia and javelin star Neeraj Chopra waiting to unleash their force in Tokyo.

Another medal prospect, wrestler Vinesh Phogat is reaching Tokyo today to complete an unfinished dream of hers – that of winning an Olympic medal after leaving Rio in tears five years ago due to a freak injury. 

Indian fans have their fingers crossed, hoping that the country will certainly better its medal tally from Rio 2016 and finish inside the top 20 when the closing ceremony takes place on Sunday, August 8.

Tokyo Olympics Wrestling


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