|An 81-strong contingent from India will try to haul a good medal tally at London Olympics that’s beginning on Friday.
Eighty-one Indian athletes will take part in 13 sports at the London Olympics beginning Friday. The following is the schedule of their events:
ARCHERY: Even before the opening ceremony gets underway at the Olympic Stadium in the evening of July 27, Indian archers will be in action at Lord's. While the men's individual ranking round starts at 0900 hours local time, the women's event gets underway at 1300 hours. In the men's event Jayanta Talukdar, Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai will partake in the individual as well as the team event. The women's team comprising Deepika Kumari, Laishram Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro will follow the same format.
TENNIS: India last won an Olympic medal in tennis in at the 1996 Atlanta where Leander Paes won a bronze in the men's singles event. He, this time, will be taking part in men's doubles partnering Vishnu Vardhan and with Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles category. Sania will partner Rushmi Chakravarthi in the women's doubles while Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna will try their luck in the men's doubles. Somdev Devvarman will be the only Indian taking part in the men's singles category. The tournament will be played at the legendary surfaces of Wimbledon from July 28 to August 5 with the finals being played August 4-5.
BADMINTON: The tournament which will be conducted between July 28 and August 5 will see Indians participate in four categories of the five. World number five Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap will partake in the women's and men's singles competition respectively. In the doubles, World Championship bronze medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will partner each other in the women's doubles. Jwala will also take part in the mixed doubles partnering V. Diju.
BOXING: For the first time in the history of Indian sports eight pugilists from the country will take part in various categories. We will see the five time World Champion MC Mary Kom taking part in the flyweight category of women's boxing which is making its debut at the Games. Among the men L. Devendro Singh, Shiva Thapa, Jai Bhagwan, Manoj Kumar, Vikas Krishan, Vijender Singh and Sumit Sangwan will compete across various weight categories. The competition will be held between July 28 and August 12. There will be two sessions: afternoon session will begin at 1330 hours while the evening session will start at 2030 hours.
JUDO: India has earned a spot in the martial arts category with Garima Chaudhary who will be participating in the women's 63kg half-middleweight category. This event begins July 31 with qualifications at 0930 hours and the final at 1610 hours.
ATHLETICS: Athletics is scheduled to begin August 3 and will continue till August 12 at the Olympic Stadium. It will be split into four distinct set of events: track and field events, road running events, and race walking events. Road events will begin and end at The Mall. 14 Indian athletes have so far achieved qualifying standards. Among men the team comprises Basanta Bahadur Rana, Baljinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Irfan Thodi, Ram Singh Yadav, Vikas Gowda, Om Prakash Karhana and Renjith Maheshwary. Among women: Tintu Luka, Sudha Singh, Seema Antil, Mayookha Johny, Krishna Poonia and Sahana Kumari.
HOCKEY: The Indian men's hockey team consists of 16 players: Ignace Tirkey, Dharamvir Singh, Sandeep Singh, Bharat Chettri (C, GK), Sardara Singh (VC), Manpreet Singh, V. R. Raghunath, Gurbaj Singh, Tushar Khandker, S. K. Uthappa, P. R. Sreejesh (GK), Danish Mujtaba, Shivendra Singh, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Sowmarpet Sunil, Birendra Lakra with coach Michael Knobbs. The team which is placed in Pool B start their campaign July 30 against Netherlands at 1600 hours.
TABLE TENNIS: Soumyajit Ghosh and Ankita Das will participate in the men's and women's singles respectively. The venue will be ExCel London from July 28 to August 8.
WEIGHTLIFTING: Weightlifting competitions will be held at the ExCel London where 15 gold medals will be awarded in total. India have earned two quotas at the Games. Katulu Ravi Kumar Ngangbam Soniya Chanu will take part in men's 69kg and women's 48 kg respectively.
SHOOTING: Shooting got India its only gold in the last edition of Olympics in Beijing. This time India has 11 shooters. The men's team comprises Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Joydeep Karmakar, Vijay Kumar, Sanjeev Rajput, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Ronjan Sodhi. While among women Shagun Chowdhary, Rahi Sarnobat, Annuraj Singh , Heena Sidhu will try to bring India another medal. The venue will be the Royal Artillery Barracks and tournament will commence July 28, ending August 5.
SWIMMING: India has received a 'Universality Place' from the International Swimming Federation (FINA). Ullalmath Gagan will be partaking in the 1500m freestyle event. The tournament will be taking place at the London Aquatics Centre from July 28 to August 4.
ROWING: India has qualified two boats with three athletes. Swarn Singh Virk will be taking part in single sculls while Sandeep Kumar and Manjeet Singh will together participate in lightweight double sculls. The competition is scheduled to be held at Dorney Lake from July 28 to August 4.
WRESTLING: India have won five places at the Games in this sport; four in men and one in women's category. Amit Kumar (55kg), Yogeshwar Dutt(60kg), Sushil Kumar (66kg) and Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74kg) among men's and Geeta Phogat (55kg) in women's qualified. The tournament will be held at ExCel London from August 5 to 12.
(Photo shows wrestler Sushil Kumar)