TheSportsRush looks at the brightest medal prospects who boost India’s chances at the Asian Games 2018.
India is set to make an appearance in their 18th Asian Games. The tournament will be played between August 19-September 2 in Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia. The Indian contingent is 572 members strong, and the athletes will prove their mettle in 36 games throughout the tournament. But who are the medal prospects in this edition of the Asian Games?
TheSportsRush takes a look at few of the sportsman who can bring this country glory in the tournament this year:
PV Sindhu/Saina Nehwal/Kidambi Srikanth – Badminton
PV Sindhu has had a struggling season this year. However, she made a strong comeback in the BWF World Championships earlier this month, where she reached the final of the tournament. She fell short of Spain’s Carolina Marin, her long-term foe. Sindhu comes on the back of a good form, however, and the absence of Marin makes her one of the favourites for the gold medal.
Saina Nehwal will be another competitor in the women’s singles, while Kidambi Srikanth will enter the court to pose India’s claim for gold in men’s singles.
Bajrang Punia – Wrestling
The Indian wrestler has won three champion tournaments this year, which include a gold medal in the Commonwealth games. He was the silver-medallist in the Incheon games, and will look to clinch the gold in Indonesia. He will be competing in the 65 kg freestyle.
India’s veteran wrestler Sushil Kumar will also be participating in the Asian Games. However, he is struggling with a poor run as he lost in the very first round of the recently concluded Tbilisi Grand Prix in Georgia.
Neeraj Chopra – Javelin Throw
The youngster’s impressive display in the Commonwealth Games, which won him the Gold Medal, earned him the prestigious honour of leading India’s Asian Games contingent this year. The javelin thrower recorded 86.47m at the Gold Coast, and bettered his own record a month later at the IAAF Diamond League in Doha. His record-best of 87.43 remains Asia’s best this year.
Also read: India’s contingent at the Asian Games
Manu Bhaker – Shooting
She might be only 16, but her performances have been exemplary. She shot down to gold in the Commonwealth Games this year. But her biggest achievement came in the ISSF World Cup, where she became the youngest Indian to win a gold medal. She remains to be one of the favourites to clinch the podium in the Asian Games.
Dipa Karmakar – Gymnastics
The Indian gymnastic made history when she came fourth in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. However, her constant struggles with injuries kept him out of most tournaments, including this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Dipa returned to gymnastics with the World Challenge Cup in Mersin, and won the gold medal, surprising everyone. In the Asian Games, Dipa Karmakar is pinned to bring golden glory for India.