What are Indian athletes up to this week?
With less than a year to go until Tokyo 2020, the Indian athletes are busy giving it their all as they prepare for the qualification events that are scheduled for later this year.
From wrestlers to boxers, track and field athletes and the hockey teams, it’s a busy period for everyone hoping to board the Tokyo-bound flight next year.
But this busy schedule hasn’t stopped them from reaching out to their fans and followers through various social media platforms to keep them updated. We take a look at what the chatter has been about.
That winning feeling
So far, it’s been a season to remember for Vinesh Phogat. Ever since the turn of the year that saw her move to a new weight category (53kg), the wrestler from Bhiwani, Haryana has been among the medals in every competition that she has taken to the mat.
And things were no different at the recently held Poland Open, where she bagged the gold medal. Incidentally, this journey saw her beat the 2016 Rio bronze medallist in their category, Sofia Mattson of Sweden, in the quarterfinals.
However, her biggest challenge will lie at the World Championships in Kazakhstan where she will be hoping to clinch the quota for the 2020 Games.
Among the best
It’s been a memorable few days for the Indian badminton doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.
Just over a week ago, they became the first-ever Indian pair to win a BWF Super 500 event with their triumph at the Thailand Open and were duly rewarded for their performance with a place in the Top-10 of the BWF world rankings.
Shetty took to Twitter to express his pleasure and thank his supporters and well-wishers for the same.
The Indian duo is placed ninth on the rankings chart and will be hoping to continue their rich vein of form going into the BWF World Championships in a few weeks’ time.
A much-needed break
India’s leading high jumper Tejaswin Shankar was back home after a gruelling NCAA season in the United States.
A year that saw him win the high jump title at the Big12 collegiate athletic meet with a national record-equalling leap, the Tamil Nadu-born athlete was making the most of his downtime visiting a few temples to seek inspiration ahead of an important year. A very Indian thing to do!
The legend’s corner
When he speaks, the entire nation listens. Abhinav Bindra has been an inspiration and an idol for not just the shooting fraternity of the country, but his influence transcends sporting boundaries too.
Moreover, the only Indian to win an Olympic gold in an individual event, Bindra, has never refused any athletes who wish to seek his advice.
Bindra later shared an image of the two assuring aspiring athletes that he was just a message away if they wanted to seek his help.
His participation at Tokyo 2020 might not be confirmed yet but Indian swimmer Virdhawal Khade is finding it difficult to get his mind off the deluge his hometown, Kolhapur (a town in the western state of Maharashtra), is enduring.
With most parts of India receiving an unexpected amount of rainfall this monsoon, several places have been inundated and have been hit with floods over the past few weeks.
Kolhapur, a town on the coast of river Panchaganga too hasn’t been spared.
While Khade, who became the youngest Indian swimmer to participate in an Olympic Games at the 2008 Beijing Games, is in Bengaluru preparing for his upcoming meets, his heart went out to the people back home who have braved the rain so far.