Asian Games 2023: Indian athletes with the best chance to win gold

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Neeraj Chopra | Sportz Point
Neeraj Chopra will look to defend his Asian Games gold medal from Jakarta 2018. Image- The Bridge
India may lag far behind in the Olympics, but it remains one of the big contenders in the Asian Games and faces less challenge compared to other countries except China, Korea, and Japan. This time India is sending about 100 more players than the previous Asian Games, so it is hopeful that this time there will be more medals.
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Hangzhou Asian Games 2023 is to be organized from 23 September to 8 October, apart from Hangzhou, some events will be taking place in five other cities. About 650 players will participate in these games from India, who will participate in 40 different sports. This time, the biggest team from India is of athletics, which includes about 68 players.

Apart from athletics, both men’s and women’s cricket and football teams will participate. This is the first time that cricket is also being a part of the Asian Games, India has announced both men’s and women’s teams for it. India’s matches will start from 23rd September and will continue till 8th October. The Indian contingent will hope to better its performance of 16 gold, 23 silver, and 31 bronze medals from five years ago in Indonesia.

India may lag far behind in the Olympics, but it remains one of the big contenders in the Asian Games and faces less challenge compared to other countries except China, Korea, and Japan. This time India is sending about 100 more players than the previous Asian Games, so it is hopeful that this time there will be more medals. In this article, we will discuss about the Indian athletes with the best chance to win gold at the Asian Games 2023.

Also Read: Asian Games 2023 Indian football team squad: AIFF announces the final squad with Sandesh and Sunil

Asian Games 2023: Medal Contenders

1. Neeraj Chopra (Men’s Javelin Throw)

Asian Games 2023: Indian athletes with the best chance to win gold | Sportz Point
Image- Telegraph India

Neeraj Chopra is in the form of his life at the moment. The Tokyo Olympics gold medallist added another feather to his cap this year after he won gold at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. He also finished second in the Zurich Diamond League tournament in August, and just before the Asian Games 2023, finished second in the Diamond League Finals in Euguene this week. Neeraj Chopra will look to replicate his success from the 2018 Asian Games, with another fine performance in China.

2. Indian Men’s Hockey Team

Asian Games 2023: Indian athletes with the best chance to win gold | Sportz Point
Image- LatestLY

The Indian men’s hockey team, who underperformed in the knockout stages of the Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, will be looking to quieten their doubters with a gold medal-winning performance at the Asian Games 2023. This tournament is important in more ways than 1 for the Hockey Team from India. They will have to win Gold at the Asiad to qualify for the Olympics next year via direct qualification. They should win the Gold medal if they play to their absolute best.

3. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (Badminton- Men’s Doubles)

Asian Games 2023: Indian athletes with the best chance to win gold | Sportz Point
Image- Sportstar – The Hindu

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are World No. 3 in men’s doubles rankings. The duo has been in spectacular form since last year. They won the 2022 India Open before being part of the Indian squad that clinched its maiden Thomas Cup title. Satwik-Chirag also clinched gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham before grabbing a historic bronze medal at the World Championships. They added one more title to their collection before the end of 2022 – their first-ever BWF World Super 750 title at the French Open.

4. Nikhat Zareen (Women’s Boxing)

Asian Games 2023: Indian athletes with the best chance to win gold | Sportz Point
Image- NDTV Sports

The World Champion Boxer from India should be the heavy favorite to win the Gold medal at the Asian Games as well. She should win the Gold medal without any difficulty and she would also secure qualification for the Parts Olympics in 2024. No other boxer in her category is at her level. While she has never competed in the Asian Games before, the 27-year-old from Nizamabad is expected to be the favourite for the gold medal.

5. Indian Men’s and Women’s cricket teams

Asian Games 2023: Indian athletes with the best chance to win gold | Sportz Point
Image- Sportstar – The Hindu

There should be no doubt that the Indian Men’s and Women’s Cricket team are one of the medal hopefuls for India in the tournament. It will be an 18 team tournament and the best young players from India will play led by Ruturaj Gaekwad. While The women’s team will be captained by Smriti Mandhana. Harmanpreet Kaur was initially supposed to lead the team. However, she will miss two matches after being suspended by the International Cricket Council for her outburst in an ODI against Bangladesh. Harmanpreet cannot come back into the team unless it reaches the final.

Both Indian men’s and women’s teams will begin their campaign directly from the quarterfinal stage.

Also Read: Sony Sports Network launches the grandest campaign ever for the 19th Asian Games

6. Mirabai Chanu (Women’s Weightlifting)

Mirabai Chanu | Sportz Point
Image- The Bridge

Mirabai Chanu made her Asian Games debut in 2014 in Incheon and finished ninth in the women’s 48kg category. Since then, she has shown amazing growth. She has won two gold and one silver medals at the Commonwealth Games, a World Championship title in 2017 with her biggest achievement being the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. While it will be tough for Mirabai to secure gold in her category which also features reigning Olympic champion Hou Zhihui and World champion Jiang Huihua, she is still expected to at least finish on the podium.

7. Jyothi Surekha Vennam (Compound Archery)

Jyothi Surekha Vennam | Sportz Point
Image- The Bridge

Jyothi Surekha Vennam is one of the most decorated Indian archers with multiple medals at Asian Archery Championships, World Cups and World Championships. This year, Jyothi, along with Parneet Kaur and Aditi Swami, won India’s first-ever gold medal at the World Championships in the women’s team event in Berlin. Jyothi has previously competed at the Asian Games in 2014 and 2018, winning a silver and a bronze medal in the team events. The 27-year-old compound archer from Vijayawada could clinch multiple medals across categories in Hangzhou.

8. Tejaswin Shankar (Decathlon)

Tejaswin Shankar | Sportz Point
Image- News9live

Tejaswin Shankar is a big medal prospect for India in decathlon at the Asian Games despite his recent switch from high jump in which he holds the National Record. The 24-year-old from New Delhi fell just 10 points short of Bharatinder Singh’s national record of 7658 points in his very first decathlon event in Tucson, Arizona, this April. He then managed to meet the Asian Games qualification mark of 7500 points set by the Athletics Federation of India with a performance of 7576 points at the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar in June. In July, he won his first major medal in decathlon – a bronze at the Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok with 7527 points.

9. R Praggnanandhaa (Chess)

R Praggnanandhaa | Sportz Point
Image- X

R Praggnanandhaa, the young chess prodigy, is coming off fighting a challenge against Magnus Carlsen in the FIDE Chess World Cup, and come the Asian Games, he will be a strong contender for gold medal. Chess is making a return to the Asian Games after 13 years, and the Chennai youngster could not have asked to make a better mark in the continental event.

Also Read: “Short time to prepare, no time to cry:” Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac before leaving for Asian Games 2023

10. Bajrang Punia (Wrestling)

Bajrang Punia | Sportz Point
Image- Olympics.com

Bajrang Punia was India’s only gold medallist in Men’s Wrestling at the last edition of the Asiad. The Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist is aiming for another similar show at Hangzhou. He infact is eyeing a double after winning back-to-back gold medals in the Commonwealth Games. With India’s Ravi Dahiya failing to qualify for the Asiad, the nation’s hope in wrestling rests on the 29-year-old Bajrang. The experienced wrestler was even exempted from the Asian Games selection trials and he is gearing to add one more medal to his tally.

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