rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Last updated on: July 27, 2012 19:23 IST

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

     Next

Next

Armed with a new-found self-belief, India's top athletes are hoping to script a fresh chapter in the country's Olympic history as they go into the 30th edition of the sporting extravaganza on Saturday with a realistic chance of winning medals.

Never before has an Indian contingent raised so much expectations and London could just be the launching pad for a new sporting era. In the coming days, a record number of 81 Indian athletes, the highest in any Olympics so far, will take part in 13 disciplines with serious medal prospects in archery, boxing, shooting, badminton, tennis and wrestling.

Shooter Abhinav Bindra's gold medal, and bronze medals by boxer Vijender Singh and Sushil Kumar in Beijing were refreshing changes from the agonising history of failures in the world's biggest sporting event.



Image: Abhinav Bindra


     Next

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The three who brought laurels to the country in Beijing are again the spearheads of India's medal quest as is trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi, ranked No. 1 in the world.


Image: Ronjan Sodhi


Prev     Next

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Abhinav Bindra, who was slightly off-colour last year, seems to have regained form, having won gold in the 10 metre Air rifle event at the 12th Asian Shooting Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Compatriot and challenger Gagan Narang is also a bright medal prospect.


Image: Gagan Narang


Prev     Next

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Saina Nehwal will spearhead the Indian challenge in badminton court.

Five shuttlers will be there in action, but the spotlight will be mainly on Saina, who has shown that she is capable of taming her strong Chinese opponents.

With back-to-back Super Series titles under her belt in the build-up to Olympics, confidence should not really be an issue, and the 22-year-old is looking to make the most of her current form heading into London.


Image: Saina Nehwal


Prev     Next

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The boxing arena promises ample excitement and a couple of medals as an unprecedented eight Indian pugilists -- seven men and a woman -- battle for glory.

Veteran Mary Kom is fittingly India's sole representative as women's boxing makes its Olympic debut in three weight categories.


Image: MC Mary Kom

Tags: Mary Kom , India

Prev     Next

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Apart from the experienced Vijender Singh (75kg), the squad has Shiva Thapa (56kg), who at 18 years of age is the youngest boxer ever to qualify for the Olympics.


Image: Shiva Thapa


Prev     Next

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Apart from Shiva, the boxing team features another teenager and a couple of 20-year-olds, including World Championships bronze-medallist Vikas Krishan (69 kg).


Image: Vikas Krishan


Prev     Next

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

In archery, which will be held on the hallowed turf of Lord's, the focus will be on 18-year-old Deepika Kumari, the unassuming World No. 1 who seldom speaks about her chances.

If her teammates perform to potential, India can do well in the team event.

 


Image: Deepika Kumari


Prev     Next

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

In wrestling, all eyes are on Sushil Kumar, who made the London cut in the final qualifying tournament.

Yogeshwar Dutt is also a medal hopeful, while for the first time a woman grappler -- Geeta Phogat -- has qualified for the Games.


Image: Yogeshwar Dutt


Prev     Next

Photos: India's Best Bets for Games Medals

Prev     More
Prev

More

In track and field, discus thrower Vikas Gowda is the dark horse who might spring a surprise, while not much is really expected from the others.

Women discuss throwers Krishna Poonia and Seema Antil will seek to make an impact, but winning medals may not be that easy for them.

There are qualifiers in sports such as judo, rowing and swimming too but they are unlikely to fetch medals given the stiff competition.


Image: Vikas Gowda


Prev     More
© Copyright 2014 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.