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South Asian Athletes Who Made Their Mark #TokyoOlympics2020

South Asian Athletes Who Made Their Mark #TokyoOlympics2020

South Asian Athletes Who Made Their Mark #TokyoOlympics2020

The pandemic may have pushed the #TokyoOlympics2020 by a year, but the spirit we saw during the entire event was remarkable. South Asian athletes made their mark and we are so proud of all of them. Check out the highlight of the fab winners and athletes who won medals and hearts all over with their performance.

Golden Moment for South Asians at #TokyoOlympics2020

Neeraj Chopra won Gold in Athletics – Men’s Javelin Throw.

 

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Chopra is the only South Asian and Indian to have won GOLD in this Olympics. From Panipat, India, his largest throw was 87.58 m. Chopra was inspired to take up the sport after watching javelin throwers train in Haryana. He is the first athlete representing India to have won gold in javelin throw at both the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. He claimed victory at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, and the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. He became the first Indian competitor to win a junior world title in athletics when he claimed gold in javelin throw at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Silver Stars at #TokyoOlympics2020

Ravi Kumar Dahiya – Men’s Wrestling Freestyle 57 kg

 

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Ravi Kumar, the 23-year-old wrestler won the silver medal for wrestling- men’s freestyle 57 kg. He was born and bred in  Sonipat, India. He was ranked third in the 2019 World Championship. He began wrestling at age 10. He started training seriously two years later at Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi, India. Wrestling was popular in his village. There have been Olympians and a world champion from his village. As a result, he was drawn towards the sport.

Mirabai Chanu – Women’s 49 kg

Mirabai Chanu raised the bar as she went on to win the silver medal in the weightlifting – 49 kg category. The iron lady attempted 115 kg for a second time and raised it perfectly. Finally, she attempted for 117 kg but failed. As a result, she settled for a silver medal. She became the first South Asian, first Indian, and the first woman to secure a medal in Olympics 2020.

Bronze Medal Winners at #TokyoOlympics2020

India Men’s Hockey Team

 

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The Indian men’s hockey team has been the most successful in the history of the Olympics with eight gold medals. This year they claimed the bronze medal with a 5-4 victory over Germany at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo. They dedicated the medal to the doctors who have saved so many lives in India and everywhere in this world. The team hadn’t won a single medal since Moscow Olympics in 1980. This year, India lost only two matches in Tokyo against Australia and Belgium, and the two faced each other in the finals.

P.V. Sindhu – Women’s Singles: Badminton

 

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Pusarla V. Sindhu won the bronze medal in the women’s singles group – Badminton. The Hyderabadi player won 5 out of 6 matches and scored twice in each. She began playing badminton at age eight. She initially trained at the Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunications in Secunderabad, India, before joining Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad in 2008. Sindhu became the first Indian badminton world champion when she claimed gold in the singles at the 2019 World Championships in Basel, Switzerland. She became the first Indian female badminton player to finish on the podium in the singles event at the world championships by claiming bronze at the 2013 edition of the tournament in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China. Sindhu had formerly won a silver medal in singles at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Borgohain Lovlina – Women’s Welter (64-69 kg)

Borgohain Lovlina won the bronze medal for Boxing – Women’s Welter (64-69 kg). From Guwahati, India, the 23-year-old matched and scored in the first and second match but couldn’t score in the third. She took up combat sport Muay Thai at age 13 before switching to boxing. She says that she used to lack confidence at the start of her career and accepted that she wasn’t psychologically strong during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. However, the champ didn’t give up and her determination got her a win this time around.

Bajrang Punia – Men’s Freestyle 65 kg

Bajrang Punia won bronze in wrestling – men’s freestyle 65 kg. From Sonipat, India, he managed to score in all 4 matches while he lost one and tied another. He began wrestling at the age of 7. By profession, he is an athlete and a railway worker. He was named the Wrestler of the Year in 2017 at the Times of India Sports Awards. In August 2015 he had received the Arjuna Award from the government of India

That’s not all! There were also many South Asian athletes who may have missed out on winning medals, but they sure won our hearts in #TokyoOlympics2020. Check out our favorites here:

Arshad Nadeem – Pakistani heartthrob who trained himself

 

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Arshad Nadeem finished at 5th position in the javelin throw tournament. Nadeem, at one point in the competition, was placed as high as fourth before being surpassed by rival athletes. Nadeem threw for 82.91 m on his opening attempt of the final round and 81.98m on the second. His final attempt of the round and competition was a foul as he finished fifth – just two shy of a podium finish that would have netted him a rare medal.

Md Ariful Islam – Men’s 50 m Freestyle

Md Ariful Islam represented Bangladesh at the Olympics 2020. In the semi-finals, he finished third in men’s swimming heat 4 in time – 24.8. He resides in Rouen, France, and has trained there since 2018. He was even named as the flag bearer for Bangladesh for the opening ceremony of #TokyoOlympics2020.

Alexander Shah – Men’s 100 m Freestyle

 

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Alexander Shah from Nepal came first in men’s 100m freestyle – swimming in his group. He finished in time 53.41 seconds. Alex impressed the viewers, but the 18-year-old’s chances of advancing to the semi-finals ended as the other competitors executed better.

Gaurika Singh – Women’s 100 m FreeStyle

 

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Also from Nepal, Gaurika Singh secured the third position in heat 1, women’s 100m freestyle – swimming. She has won many national records since beginning her swimming career at the young age of eight. She has set the record of winning 4 gold medals in a season of the 2019 South Asian games held in Nepal. She won two silver and three bronze medals for swimming at the 2016 South Asian Games. Moreover, she participated in the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as the youngest Olympian, representing Nepal in the women’s 100 m back-stroke.

Milka Gehani – Women’s Uneven Bars, Floor & Artistic

Milka Gehani Elpitiya Badalge Dona also known as Milka Gehani de Silva, earned a continental quota spot to the 2020 Summer Olympics alongside India’s Pranati Nayak after the cancellation of the 2021 Asian Championships. She is the first Sri Lankan gymnast across all disciplines to qualify for t#TokyoOlympics2020. She also became the second Sri Lankan athlete to qualify for #TokyoOlympics2020 after Mathilda Karlsson. In July, it was announced that Milka will be Sri Lanka’s flag bearer at the 2020 Summer Olympics Parade of Nations, becoming the country’s youngest-ever flag bearer at 18. Milka was placed 78th in the all-around during qualifications and did not advance to the final.

Aniqah Gafoor – Women’s 100 m Butterfly

 

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Aniqah Gafoor from Sri Lanka finished 2nd in the 1st heat of the women’s 100 m butterfly at the Tokyo Aquatic Center. Unfortunately, Gafoor finished with a timing of 1:05.33, short of her personal best and national record mark of 1:04.58. The 17-year-old swimmer’s performance earned her 32nd place overall.

MC Mary Kom – Women’s 51 kg (Flyweight)

 

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India’s boxing icon MC Mary Kom bowed out of #TokyoOlympics2020 after a loss in the women’s 51 kg round of 16 match ending the 38-year-old Indian legend’s career at the Olympics. Mary Kom, who won bronze in London in 2012, used all her might in the three rounds but went down fighting to No. 3 seed Ingrit Valencia of Colombia by a 3:2 split verdict at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena. She will always be remembered as one of the Olympic legends of India.

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