After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics are finally happening! Here are some numbers that you must know about India’s contingent for the Tokyo 2020 Games:
The number of athletes who will be representing India at the Olympics this year, the most in their history. The country’s previous best was 117 athletes at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
This is the first time that Indians will compete in as many as 18 of the 33 sports that will be a part of the Olympics program in Tokyo. The country’s previous best was 15 sports at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Seema Punia is only the third Indian woman to take part in four Olympics in athletics after PT Usha and Shiny Abraham-Wilson. While Usha and Abraham-Wilson took part in track events, Punia will take part in a field event, the discus throw. The only other Indian to take part in four Olympics in a field event is fellow discus thrower Vikas Gowda. Punia has finished 13th, 14th and 20th in her three previous Olympic appearances.
Number of medals won by PV Sindhu at the World Championships over the course of her career, just three less than the number of Worlds medals won by all the other women combined in the women’s singles event at this year’s Olympics. Ratchanok Intanon (two), Nozomi Okuhara (two), Chen Yufei (two), Akane Yamaguchi (one) and He Bingjiao (one) have a combined total of eight medals at the Worlds.
Mary Kom’s eight medals at the World Championships are two more than the rest of the field combined in the women’s flyweight category at the Olympics this year. Mary has won six golds, one silver and one bronze over the course of her career. The other 25 women in the draw have combined to win six worlds medals across their careers.
This is the first time that India will have two women who have previously medaled at the Olympics as a part of its contingent. Mary had won bronze at the London Olympics in 2012, while Sindhu won silver in Rio in 2016. The other three women who have medaled for India at the Olympics are Karnam Malleswari (2000, Sydney), Saina Nehwal (2012, London) and Sakshi Malik (2016, Rio).
Fouaad Mirza will be the first Indian equestrian in 21 years to take part in the Olympics. The last Indian equestrian was Imtiaz Anees, who finished 23rd in individual eventing at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
This is the first time that India will have representation in the fencing event at the Olympics in the form of CA Bhavani Devi, who will take part in the women’s sabre event. She is also the only Indian to win gold at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships.
Nethra Kumanan will be the first Indian female sailor to represent the country at the Olympics. She’s also the first Indian sailor in history to earn a direct berth at the Olympics.
Manu Bhaker’s 13 World Cup medals across all events are easily the most by an Indian at Shooting World Cups. She’s also 13th on the all-time list of women with most World Cup medals. No woman has won more medals than Bhaker at World Cups since the start of 2017, even though Bhaker first took part in a World Cup only in 2018.
Number of medals won by Saurabh Chaudhary at World Cups, the most by an Indian man and second-most for an Indian shooter after Bhaker. Chaudhary made his World Cup debut in 2019 but his 12 medals are the most for any man at World Cups since the beginning of 2017.
Mirabai Chanu is one of only two Indians in history to win gold at the Weightlifting World Championships, the other being Malleswari. Malleswari is the only Indian weightlifter to medal at the Olympics.
Bajrang Punia is the only Indian wrestler to win more than one medal at the World Championships. He has won one silver and two bronze medals at the World Championships. He’s also one of only three Indian male wrestlers to win gold at both the Asian Games as well as the Commonwealth Games, the others being Yogeshwar Dutt and Rajinder Singh.
Vinesh Phogat has won each of the 12 bouts she has contested in 2021. Her last loss came at the Asian Championships in February 2020. She’s also the only Indian female wrestler to win gold at both the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. She’s also one of five Indian women to win a Worlds medal, with two of the others being her cousins Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari.
At 41, Tejaswini Sawant will be the oldest Indian Olympics debutant. She’ll be taking part in the 50m 3 positions event. To put that into perspective that’s more than the combined age of India’s ace 10m air pistol mixed team of Manu Bhaker, 19 and Saurabh Chaudhary, 19!