Indian Table Tennis Duo's Olympic Mixed Doubles Hopes Crushed

Indian Table Tennis Duo’s Olympic Mixed Doubles Hopes Crushed

Manika Batra and G Sathiyan’s Olympic mixed doubles aspirations have been dashed after their disappointing performance at the World Mixed Doubles Olympic Qualification tournament in Havirov. The Indian duo, who had set their sights on the 2024 Paris Games, crashed out in the quarter-finals of their knockouts group, failing to secure one of the four Paris quotas available.

Their exit marks a significant setback for India’s hopes of winning a table tennis medal at the Olympics. Sathiyan and Sharath Kamal had previously identified mixed doubles as India’s most realistic chance of a podium finish, given the 16-team format.

The pair’s recent form has been a cause for concern. After a promising start following the Tokyo Olympics, they have struggled to maintain their momentum. In the four major WTT events they competed in this year, they failed to progress beyond the first round.

Injuries and dips in form have also played a role in their decline. Manika dealt with an ankle issue last year, while Sathiyan has been battling a back injury. The lack of training time as a pair has also been a factor, as they are based in different cities.

Despite their efforts to blend their schedules, they have been unable to translate their individual success into a strong mixed doubles partnership. Sathiyan and Manika are still likely to compete in other events at the Paris Olympics, but their mixed doubles dream has come to an end.

Indian Shooters Adopt New Strategy for Paris 2024 Glory

Indian Shooters Adopt New Strategy for Paris 2024 Glory

Indian Shooters Aim for Paris 2024 Glory with New Strategy

In the wake of a disappointing performance at the Tokyo Olympics, the Indian shooting contingent is implementing a revised strategy for the upcoming Paris 2024 Games. Recognizing the need for a more balanced approach, the shooters will now prioritize rest and recovery in the lead-up to the event.

National rifle coach Suma Shirur emphasized the importance of this “big change,” explaining that the shooters will fly to Paris from home after a period of recharge. This contrasts with the extended training camp in Croatia prior to the Tokyo Games, which contributed to the team’s lackluster performance.

India’s shooters have already secured a record 19 quota places for the Paris Olympics. After the domestic Olympic trials in April-May, the team will participate in the ISSF World Cup in Munich from May 31 to June 8. This will be their only competition before the Games.

Following the World Cup, the shooters will have a brief training camp in Germany before returning to India for mental rejuvenation. Shirur believes this approach will allow the athletes to peak at the right time.

“After the Olympic trials, we’ll be going to the Munich World Cup, which is the first and the last competition where the team gets a chance to be comfortable in the shoes of being an Olympian,” Shirur said. “After the World Cup, we will have a short training camp in Germany. Shooters will have the chance to come back (to India) and emotionally recover, recharge and rejuvenate before we have a small camp and then fly to the Games.”

With a strong quota count and the momentum from last year’s Asian Games, the Indian shooting team is focused on building an efficient path to Paris. Rifle shooters have been particularly successful in securing quotas early.

“The shooters are in a very good zone now, so now it’s about sharpening things as we move forward,” Shirur said. “Most of the work has been done since last year. Now, we just need to fine tune them and focus on how to perform. Self-regulation is one of the most important aspects we are going to be working on going forward, because no matter how you feel, you still need to be able to go out there and perform.”

India Aims for Record Medal Haul at Paris 2024 Olympics

India Aims for Record Medal Haul at Paris 2024 Olympics

With the Paris 2024 Olympics fast approaching, India’s preparations are in full swing. The country’s seven medals at Tokyo and success at the Hangzhou Asian Games have raised expectations, but the Olympics present a formidable challenge.

Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur expressed confidence in India’s athletes, stating that they will return with the country’s best Olympic haul. The government has supported athletes’ qualification and preparation, sanctioning over 350 foreign exposure trips.

As of now, 58 Indian athletes have qualified for Paris 2024, including both the men’s and women’s Table Tennis teams, as well as quotas in women’s Skeet Shooting and Equestrian (Dressage).

The government has graded National Sports Federations (NSFs) based on performance and expectations, but fund cuts are not considered a measure for non-performance. Instead, the focus is on providing support to athletes through federations.

India has expressed its intention to bid for the 2036 Olympics and 2030 Youth Olympics. The government is working closely with the Indian Olympic Association and the IOC Future Hosts Commission to make a strong recommendation in favor of the Indian bid.

To achieve success in terms of medals, India is encouraging sports like cycling and swimming, which offer multiple medal opportunities. The government has increased its sports budget three times in the past decade, and corporate and private investments through CSR funds have also contributed to the development of Indian sport.

The Khelo India Games play a crucial role in talent identification, and the upcoming KIRTI Platform aims to tap into untapped sporting talent across India.

Women’s sport is a particular area of focus, with the government enhancing its support in recent years. Women athletes have won five medals in the last two Olympic Games and have made significant contributions to India’s medal tally at the Asian Games.

Rohit Yadav's Olympic Dream: A Race Against Time

Rohit Yadav’s Olympic Dream: A Race Against Time

Rohit Yadav’s Olympic Dream: A Race Against Time

Last July, Indian javelin thrower Rohit Yadav underwent elbow surgery, setting the clock ticking towards the 2024 Paris Olympics. With the countdown clock looming large at the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS), Yadav’s social media post captured the urgency of his mission: “362 days, 7 hours, 12 minutes, 13 seconds.”

Yadav’s journey to Paris has been marked by both triumph and adversity. In 2021, he shattered the national record with a throw of 85.47 meters, earning him a spot at the Tokyo Olympics. However, a nagging elbow injury hampered his performance, forcing him to undergo surgery.

Undeterred, Yadav has embarked on an intensive rehabilitation program at IIS. Under the guidance of renowned physiotherapist Dr. Nikhil Latey, he is working tirelessly to regain full range of motion and strength in his elbow.

“The recovery process has been challenging, but I’m determined to get back to my best,” said Yadav. “I’m grateful for the support of my team and the facilities at IIS, which have made this journey possible.”

Yadav’s coach, Uwe Hohn, a former Olympic champion, believes in his athlete’s potential. “Rohit has the talent and the determination to succeed,” said Hohn. “He has overcome adversity before, and I’m confident he will do it again.”

As the clock continues to tick down, Yadav remains focused on his goal. He knows that the road to Paris will be arduous, but he is prepared to give it his all.

“I’m not just competing against other athletes,” said Yadav. “I’m competing against time. I’m determined to make the most of every second and give myself the best chance of success in Paris.”

Indian Boxers Struggle in World Olympic Qualifier, Chahar Knocked Out

Indian Boxers Struggle in World Olympic Qualifier, Chahar Knocked Out

Reigning national champion Lakshya Chahar’s Olympic dream suffered a setback as he became the fourth Indian boxer to bow out in the opening round of the first World Olympic Boxing Qualifier in Busto Arsizio, Italy.

Chahar, competing in the men’s 80kg event, faced a formidable opponent in 2021 Asian Championships silver medallist Gheshlaghi Meysam of Iran. Despite a valiant effort, Chahar was knocked out in the third round, ending his hopes of securing an Olympic quota.

The Indian contingent has faced a disappointing start to the qualifier, with all four boxers who have taken the ring failing to advance to the second round. World Championships bronze medallist Deepak Bhoria (51kg), Asian Games bronze medallist Narender Berwal (92kg), and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria (60kg) all suffered first-round defeats.

However, five Indian boxers remain in contention for Paris Olympic quotas: world championships bronze medallist Mohammed Hussamudin and six-time Asian Championships medal winner Shiva Thapa. A semifinal finish will guarantee them a quota.

India has already secured four 2024 Olympic quotas through Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg), Parveen Hooda (57kg), and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), who clinched their entry at the Asian Games last year.

Boxers who fail to earn quotas in Italy will have a final chance to qualify for the Paris Games at the second World Olympic Boxing Qualifier, scheduled for May 23 to June 3 in Bangkok.

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