Road To Tokyo Olympics: Sports where Indian athletes can still qualify

Till now 95 Indian athletes (data as of 9th May) have qualified for Tokyo Olympics. The qualification period for all sports is going to end by June. Here is a look at sports where qualification is still open and the Indian athletes with a chance to qualify…🇮🇳

Badminton: Badminton is one of the sports which has been badly affected by COVID-19 pandemic. Various events have been postponed and athletes have missed chance to get ranking points. If things stand as it is and no change is made to qualification system, India is likely to get 3 quotas:

PV Sindhu (Women’s Singles)
Sai Praneeth (Men’s Singles)
Rankireddy/Shetty (Men’s Doubles)

Qualification is going to be based on BWF ranking list published on 15th June.

Golf: Qualification is based on the ranking list published in the last week of June. As of today, no Indian male player is in a qualification spot. However, Udayan Mane, Anirban Lahiri and Ganganjeet Bhullar are close and a couple of good results can propel them to qualification spots. In Women’s, Aditi Ashok is virtually through and should get a quota. The other Indian player in contention is Diksha Dagar and she need good results in the remaining competitions to climb up the ranking list.

Tennis: Qualification for Tokyo Olympics will be based on World Ranking as on 14th June, 2021. From an Indian perspective, no singles player is currently in contention for an Olympic quota. In Men’s Doubles, Rohan Bopanna & Divij Sharan have a chance to qualify. In Women’s Doubles, Sania Mirza can use her protected ranking and enter Tokyo Olympics. She will most probably partner Ankita Raina for this event.

Concept of protected ranking:

As per WTA rules, when a player takes a lay-off from the game longer than 6 months on account of injuries or pregnancy, she can apply for a “protected ranking”. The protected ranking of a player is her world ranking after the last tournament she played in.

Sania took a maternal break in October 2017 and hence is eligible for protected ranking.

Judo: In Judo, India is expected to qualify one athletes through the continental quota. Currently, Shushila Devi (Women’s 48 kg category) occupies that qualification spot. Final qualification list will be out on 28th June.

Weightlifting: Qualification is based on the Olympic ranking list to be released on 1st June. From an Indian perspective, as per current rankings only Mirbai Chanu is expected to qualify.

Taekwondo: Till now, no Indian athlete has qualified. The only remaining qualification opportunity is at the Asian qualification tournament to be held in Jordan on May 21 & 22. 2 quota places are available in each weight category at Asian qualifiers.

Swimming: No Indian swimmer has achieved the A qualification mark for Tokyo Olympics yet. Swimmers have time till June 27 to achieve qualification standards at a FINA approved event. If no Indian swimmer is able to achieve A qualification mark till then, they will have to wait for unused quotas (if any) to be given to swimmers who achieved B qualification mark. Currently, 6 Indian swimmers have achieved B qualification mark.

Athletics: Qualification for Tokyo Olympics is based on athletes achieving qualification standards for particular event. Athletes can do so till 29th June, 2021. After that, remaining quotas will be allocated based on World ranking list. From an Indian perspective, 400 m Men & Women relay teams are currently in ranking qualification spots. In individual events, following Indian athletes are currently in quota position as per ranking:

Dutee Chand (100m, 200m)
PU Chitra (1500m)
Annu Rani (Javelin Throw)
Muhannad Anas (400m)
Tajinder Toor (Shot Put)
MP Jagbir ( 400m Hurdle)

Archery: India is yet to get a quota in Women’s Team Recurve event. The final qualification opportunity will come at Archery World Cup in Paris (18-21 June). If Indian women’s team qualifies, it will automatically get 3 individual event quotas as well.

Wishing all the Indian athletes in contention for an Olympic quota all the best.

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