Rio de Janeiro is all set and ready to host the 31st Olympic Games as more than 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) around the world are scheduled to participate. With 306 sets of medals up for grabs, the games will feature 28 Olympic sports played at 33 venues in the host city Rio and at 5 venues in the cities of Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasilia and Manaus.
The Big Stars To Watch Out For
Usain Bolt (Jamaica)
The world record holder suffered a Grade 1 hamstring tear, due to which he had to withdraw from the Jamaican Olympic trials. He has confirmed that he will be participating in the London Anniversary Games on July 22nd, through which he will have to earn qualification for Rio. If injury doesn’t play spoil-sport, the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay race will be the events to follow to watch the fastest man on the planet.
Neymar Jr (Brazil)
Neymar had to settle for the silver medal with Brazil at the 2012 London Olympics, as they lost to Mexico in the final. The nation will be looking up to their hero to win the gold at the Olympics, and Neymar will be focused to lead his side to glory, especially considering the disappointing end he had to the Fifa World Cup in 2014, where he was injured and could not take part in the semifinal against Germany.
Michael Phelps (USA)
The ace swimmer will be competing in his fifth Olympics in Rio. He has a total medal tally of 22 at the Olympics (18 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze), and will be defending his 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley gold medals. He will also be competing in all the three men’s relays at Rio 2016.
Serena Williams (USA)
Serena Williams has won four gold medals at the Olympics and will be looking for more when she competes at Rio 2016. She will be heading into the competition as the favourite, considering that she will be high on confidence after winning the women’s singles and women’s doubles title at Wimbledon.
The Indian Contingent
India is sending its largest ever team of athletes to an Olympic Games this year, with more than 100 men and women set to travel to Rio de Janeiro next month.
India registered its highest ever medal tally at the 2012 Olympics in London, winning a record six medals. Therefore, the expectations are higher from the country come August. The overall sport scene in the nation has never been better, given the emergence of stars in several sports, namely hockey, tennis, badminton, wrestling and shooting.
With 19 men and women representing India, athletics will be the largest unit for India at the Olympics
Men – Inderjeet Singh (Shot Put), Vikas Gowda (Discus Throw), Gurmeet Singh, Baljinder Singh and Irfan Kolothum Thodi (Men’s 20 km walk), Sandeep Kumar, Manish Singh Rawat (Men’s 50 km walk), Nitender Singh Rawat, Thonakal Gopi and Kheta Ram (Marathon), Muhammad Anas (Men’s 400m race) and Ankit Sharma (Long Jump)
Women – Seema Antil (Discus Throw), Manpreet Kaur (Shot put), Lalita Babar (3000m steeplechase), Tintu Luka (Women’s 800m event), Kavita Raut (Women’s marathon), Sudha Singh, OP Jaisha (Marathon), Khushbir Kaur (20km walk), Sapna Punia (20km walk), Dutee Chand (Women’s 100m race), Srabani Nanda (Women’s 200m event).
Rio 2016 will see four archers representing India, among which is 24-year-old Atanu Das, who finished 4th at the 2016 World Cup in Turkey. A strong team of three women, Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi Laishram and Laxmirani Majhi will be making the trip to Brazil in the team recurve event.
The face of Indian badminton, Saina Nehwal will the biggest hope for the nation to bring home a medal. She did win the Australian Open which was held in June, so confidence will be high. The 26 year-old will be looking to add to the bronze medal she won in the women’s singles competition at the Olympic Games in London 2012 and will be joined by 21 year-old P.V. Sindhu at Rio 2016.
In contrast to seven men and one woman boxer in 2012, India will be only be represented by Shiva Thapa (56 kgs), Manoj Kumar (64 kgs) and Vikas Krishan (75kgs) at the 2016 Olympics.
One of the rising stars in Indian sport today is Dipa Karmakar. The 22-year-old from Tripura became the first ever Indian woman to qualify for the Olympic gymnastics competition. She has won bronze medals on the vault at the Commonwealth and the Asian Games.
The men’s hockey team are in tremendous form heading into Rio. They picked up the gold medal in the Asian Games 2014 and surprisingly, picked up silver at the Champions Trophy in London, losing only to a penalty shoot-out against Australia.
Rio will also see the return of the India women’s hockey team to the Olympics for the first time since Moscow 1980, where they finished fourth. While chances of a final three finish in Rio is very slim, they will be competitive in the competition.
Due to a series of consistent performances, Avatar Singh grabbed an Olympic berth in 2016. Competing in the 90 kgs weight category, Avatar will be India’s only judo competitor in Brazil.
Dattu Bhokanal qualified in men’s single sculls event after wining the silver medal in the FISA Asia and Oceania Olympic qualifier.
Along with the former world and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, the shooting team will also have Gagan Narang, who won bronze in the 10m air rifle at London 2012. Narang is also competing in the 50m rifle prone and 50m three-position events, in which he won silver and bronze respectively at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Another major medal prospect for India is Jitu Rai. The 29-year-old army shooter has done well on the international stage in recent years, and will be hoping to do the same in the 50m pistol and 10m air pistol events at Rio 2016.
India will have Soumyajit Ghosh and Achanta Sharath Kamal fighting for a medal in Brazil, along with Mouma Das and Manika Batra, representing India in the women’s division in Rio.
Leander Paes may have a had a disappointing outing at Wimbledon, but the 43-year-old knows all about winning at the Olympics. He will be partnering with Rohan Bopanna in the men’s doubles event. In the women’s doubles, Sania Mirza will team up with 22-year-old Prarthana Thombare, with whom she won bronze at the 2014 Asian Games.
Freestyle wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt will be competing in the 65kg class at Rio. He has tasted success by winning bronze at London 2012, golds at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014 and gold at the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014. Along with him will be Narsingh Pancham Yadav, who will compete in the 74kg class. The 26-year-old already has Commonwealth gold and a world championships bronze to his name.
India earned two Olympic quotas, due to the good performance shown by the team in the Asian Weightlifting Championship in Uzbekistan earlier this year. So, Sivalingam Sathish Kumar (Men’s 77kg category), a 2014 Commonwealth games gold medalist and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (Women’s 48kg category) will be India’s best representation at the Olympics.
The Games will be held from 5th August, 2016 to 21st August, 2016.
Live Streaming and Telecast Information
Live streaming of the Rio Olympic Games 2016 will be available on Hotstar. Live Telecast of the games will be available on the Star Network.
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