The likes of Hima Das and Lakshya Sen could be India’s most prominent athletes in the coming years
While these two have been the amongst nation’s established and experienced performers, India also boasts of a young breed of athletes who not only stand a good chance to do well at the 2020 Tokyo Games; but promise to be the frontrunners in their sport for years to come.
So let's take a look at some of India’s top athletes for the next generation.
The 20-year-old broke onto the scene in 2015 when he won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games. Since that triumph, he has continued to excel and currently holds the national record in high jump when he managed 2.29 metres leap last year.
Shankar’s spectacular performances bagged him a scholarship at America’s Kansas State University, where he has continued to win acclaim at the NCCA level.
If the youngster can continue this form, he seems destined to be a force on the international stage in the years to follow.
The star shuttler from Uttarakhand may be only 18, but has already set the junior badminton circuit alight, winning several tournaments at the international stage. He won a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last year - you can see how below:
In an action packed 2018, Sen was crowned Asian Junior champion and also claimed bronze at the World Junior Championships.
Sen was previously the top-ranked junior player in the world; and with the youngster training at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru, it seems only a matter of time before he translates his junior success to a formidable senior career.
After that breath-taking triumph at the 2018 U20 World Championships in Tampere, Hima Das has now become a household name for her 400m running exploits. A name that carries with it the hopes and dreams of a nation for track and field events.
And the youngster hasn’t failed to deliver, winning two golds and a silver at the 2018 Asian Games.
Despite being only 19, Das is managing to more than hold her own amongst some of the best 400m runners in the world. Tokyo 2020 could well be the start of something really special for the 'Dhing Express'.
The future for Indian shooting looks extremely bright with the likes of Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary already coming good at the international stage. While these two have been the more dominant performers, 18-year-old Mehuli Gosh has also been performing admirably at the senior level.
Ghosh bagged silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as the Youth Olympics Games; in a breakthrough season, she also finished runner-up at the World Championships last year. The youngster is now slated to participate at the World Cup in Rio, where she would be hoping to do well and book her ticket for the upcoming Olympics.
Despite being in her early twenties, Divya Kakran has already become an established name in wrestling circles after winning several accolades at international level.
She won bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 68kg weight class and also repeated the feat at the last edition of the Asian Games in Indonesia.
That success came on the back of a silver medal at the Asian Championships in 2017. Kakran will now be taking to the mat at the World Wrestling Championships through which she will be targeting an Olympic berth.
It is not difficult to discover what Kakran's main mission in life is: the grappler has her sights firmly set on reaching the pinnacle of her sport.