Home / Mint-lounge / Features /  India’s Rio Olympic contingent is its strongest ever

In what is undoubtedly a landmark moment for our nation, India will be sending a 102 sportsperson-strong contingent to compete in the upcoming Olympics, which commence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 5 August. The 100th Indian athlete to qualify was Mohammad Anas, from Kerala. This 21-year old quartermiler ran 400 meters in 45.40 seconds— this is the exact qualifying timing for Rio—at the Polish Athletics Championship, held in Bydgoszcz.

Just for a perspective, the Indian contingent to the 2008 Olympics featured 56 athletes, which jumped to 83 in 2012. Shooting is widely regarded as India’s strongest suit; the 12-member shooting team includes nine men and three women, including the 2008 Games gold-winning rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra. The wrestling team, comprising eight players, also includes internationally successful and experienced grapplers like Yogeshwar Dutt (65kg) and cousins Vinesh Phogat (48kg) and Babita Kumari (55kg). In table tennis, India is for the first time, sending a full, four-person squad.

Another noteworthy achievement in the run-up to the Olympics has been Dutee Chand qualifying for the women’s 100m event. Since the International Olympics committee introduced a qualifying time for this segment in 2000, Chand made history by becoming the first Indian woman to make this mark. The 99th to make it to the contingent, the Odisha athlete timed 11.24 seconds—Rio qualifying time is 11.32 seconds—at the XXVI International Meeting in Kazakhstan. Chand will be the first athlete since P.T. Usha to compete in this event.

While these various sport contingents look promising ahead of the Olympics, boxing has been mired by controversy and the lack of an organizing federation. The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IBF) was banned by the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) in 2013 for manipulating elections. Boxing India, its replacement, was started in 2014 but didn’t do much to help, since it was also suspended by the AIBA after the impeachment of its president and secretary due to infighting. In light of this, institutions such as the Sports Authority of India and JSW Sports—one a government body and the other a private sports promotion outfit— have taken it upon themselves to train promising boxers. This lack of government authority, along with Vijender Singh going pro in 2015 and Mary Kom not receiving the Rio wildcard, paint a dismal picture for Indian boxing.

While the Indian contingent is showing its strength with numbers this Olympics, it’s not surprising that our boxing contingent has shrunk in number, from eight qualifiers in 2012 to only three this year.

Below is the full list of Rio-bound athletes:


1. Atanu Das

2. Deepika Kumari

3. Laxmirani Majhi

4. Bombayla Devi


1. Inderjeet Singh (Shot Put)

2. Vikas Gowda (Discus Throw)

3. Seema Antil (Discus Throw)

4. Manpreet Kaur (Discus Throw)]

5. Ankit Sharma (Long Jump)

6. Gurmeet Singh (Men’s 20km walk)

7. Baljinder Singh (Men’s 20km walk)

8. Irfan Kolothum Thodi (Men’s 20km walk)

9. Sandeep Kumar (Men’s 50km walk)

10. Manish Singh Rawat (Men’s 50km walk)

11. Nitender Singh Rawat (Marathon)

12. Thonnakkal Gopi (Marathon)

13. Kheta Ram (Marathon)

14. Muhammad Anas (400m)

15. Lalita Babar (3000m steeplechase)

16. Tintu Luka (800m)

17. Kavita Raut (Marathon)

18. Sudha Singh (Marathon)

19. O.P. Jaisha (Marathon)

20. Khushbir Kaur (Walk)

21. Sapna Punia (Walk)

22. Dutee Chand (100m)

23. Srabani Nanda (200m)


1. Saina Nehwal (Women’s singles)

2. P.V Sindhu. (Women’s singles)

3. Kidambi Srikanth (Men’s singles)

4. Manu Attri (Men’s Doubles)

5. Sumeeth Reddy (Men’s Doubles)

6. Jwala Gutta (Women’s doubles)

7. Ashwini Ponnappa (Women’s doubles)


1. Shiva Thapa (56kg)

2. Manoj Kumar (61kg)

3. Vikas Krishan (75kg)


Avtar Singh


Dipa Karmakar


Men’s team— 16 members

Women’s team—16 members


Dattu Bhokanal (Singles sculls)


1. Jitu Rai

2. Apurvi Chandela

3. Gagan Narang

4. Abhinav Bindra

5. Gurpreet Singh

6. Prakash Nanjappa

7. Chain Singh

8. Mairaj Ahmed Khan

9. Heena Sidhu

10. Kynan Chenai

11. Ayonika Paul

12. Manavjit Singh Sandhu

Table Tennis

1. Achanta Sharath Kamal

2. Manika Batra

3. Soumyajit Ghosh

4. Mouma Das


1. Rohan Bopanna (Men’s doubles, Mixed doubles)

2. Leander Paes (Men’s doubles)

3. Sania Mirza (Women’s doubles, Mixed doubles)

4. Prarthana Thombare (Women’s doubles)


1. Sivalingam Sathish Kumar (Men’s 77kg)

2. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (Women’s 48 kg)


1. Narsingh Pancham Yadav (Men’s FS 74kg)

2. Yogeshwar Dutt (Men’s FS 65kg)

3. Hardeep Singh (Men’s GR 98kg)

4. Sandeep Tomar (Men’s FS 57kg)

5. Ravinder Khatri (Men’s GR 86kg)

6. Vinesh Phogat (Women’s 48kg)

7. Sakshi Malik (Women’s 60kg)

8. Babita Kumari (Women’s 55kg)

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