It’s been seven days in 2024 and the Indian sporting scenes are warming for the Olympic year when Paris will host the 2024 Olympic Games.
Predicting anything in Indian sports can be meddling with fire given the uncertainties but here is the wishlist for the year 2024:
Double Digit at the 2024 Paris Olympics
Any Indian sports enthusiast won’t look beyond the biggest multi-sporting event, the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The big ticket quadrennial event is back after three years and Indian fans will have the double-digit in mind after India’s best-ever showing at the Tokyo Olympics.
India won a total of seven medals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics including the historic gold medal of Neeraj Chopra in the Javelin Throw and the bronze medal won by the Indian men’s hockey team.
While Indian athletes put on a brilliant show at the 2022 Asian Games with a record-breaking 107 medals, crossing the ten-medal mark at Paris will be a big ask.
Neeraj Chopra, the Indian men’s hockey team, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, and Nikhat Zareen look like the only medal hopefuls for India at the moment.
If Indian shooters continue their form of 2023 and Athletics comes up with surprises like the men’s relay team, India can cross the double digits but it is too early to predict, at the moment.
Fewer controversies in 2024
Indian sports and controversies go hand-in-hand and 2023 was no less with Wrestler’s protest emerging as the most important talking point of the year.
Apart from the sexual harassment case against ex-WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, there were multiple controversies including the selection dramas and bad governance of the Indian sporting federations.
Indian sports ecosystem will hope for fewer controversies and more efficiency in the year 2024.
An end to the Wrestling turmoil
Wrestling contributed two medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and has been one of the sports where India has won five medals in the last four editions of the Olympics.
But the sport is in shambles with a three-way fight between the Wrestling Federation of India, Sports Ministry, and the wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik.
Since the wrestlers began their protest in April 2023, Indian wrestling has not seen a very bright time barring a few exceptions in the form of the World medal of Antim Panghal.
As the matter still hangs in the air, hoping that 2024 will bring a swift resolution to this conflict and Indian wrestling will be back on its feet.
Nikhat’s world domination turning into Olympic success
After Mary Kom hung her boots, Indian boxing found another poster girl in the form of two-time World Champion Nikhat Zareen.
The boxer from Telangana has been on a brilliant run in the past three years winning everything on her way including two back-to-back World Championships, a Commonwealth Gold medal, and the bronze medal at the 2022 Asian Games.
Her Asian Games bronze can be considered a blip but it came a with confirmed berth at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Nikhat Zareen is just one medal away from her hall of fame moment in Indian sports and that is the 2024 Paris Olympics medal.
A new dawn for Indian Chess
For the first time in history, a total of five Indians will feature in the FIDE Candidates tournament with Vidit Gujrathi, R Praggnanandhaa, and D Gukesh competing in the men’s category while R Vaishali and Koneru Humpy will compete in the women’s.
2024 can prove the defining year for Indian Chess with the immense talent on display and hopefully, the next world champion after Viswanathan Anand.
Moment of glory for Indian women’s Hockey team
After the historic show at the Tokyo Olympics, the Indian women’s hockey team had a rollercoaster ride in the past three years.
While the team won a medal at the Commonwealth Games, the horror show at the Women’s World Cup is still fresh in the memories. At the 2022 Asian Games, the team suffered a shock defeat to China in the semi-finals losing out on the 2024 Paris Olympics quota.
The team ended 2023 with a win at the Asian Champions Trophy but a bigger task awaits them in the FIH Olympic qualifiers starting in Ranchi on January 13th.
With all the highs and lows, there is hope that this bunch of hockey players can write the history at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Neeraj Chopra: Hits 90m marks and defends his Olympic Crown
The poster boy of Indian Athletics, Neeraj Chopra completed Javelin Throw at the age of 25 after winning the World Championship gold medal in 2023.
After his win at the Worlds, Neeraj said that he would like to repeat it and he started it with winning the 2022 Asian Games gold medal.
Entering 2024, two questions will be consistent for Neeraj Chopra- Can he hit the 90m mark and can he defend his Olympic crown?
Hopefully, Neeraj can answer both questions with one single throw at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Return of PV Sindhu, Deepika Kumari, Vinesh Phogat
2024 can be the year of redemption and return for many big names in Indian Sports.
Double Olympic medalist PV Sindhu saw her season cut short last year and is set to make a return in February 2024. Currently ranked 12th in Olympic qualifications, PV Sindhu has a chance to become the first-ever Indian athlete to win three Olympic medals.
Archery veteran Deepika Kumari made a return from maternity duties at the National Games 2023 in Goa and will have a very tough pathway to Olympic qualifications.
Arguably India’s best woman wrestler Vinesh Phogat had a tough year in 2023 after the turmoil of the Wrestler’s protest and a knee injury before the Asian Games.
Hopefully, she can return to shape and winning ways in 2024 with the Paris Olympics in sight.
Better pressure handling from Indian Shooters at the Olympics
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was a disaster for the Indian shooting team that entered the event as the heavy favorites but returned with a blank medal list.
A lot has changed in the Indian shooting since Tokyo but wounds of the disastrous campaign remain fresh in memory.
With a brilliant set of shooters at the helm, the Indian shooting team will have their chance of redemption after a great performance at the 2022 Asian Games.