India celebrated its 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday (January 26). On the occasion, here's a look at 26 Indian athletes who can make the country proud in 2022.
It will be another busy year for Indian sportstars. Besides the annual events, there will be Asian Games in Hangzhou, Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the Women's Hockey World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands, two Cricket World Cups -- Women's 50 in New Zealand and Men's T20 in Australia, etc. And India will have a fair representation in these events.
Besides the following 26, many more athletes will represent India:
Neeraj Chopra (Athletics): The star javelin thrower will be a strong favorite to win medals at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Athletics Championships and other events.
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (Weighlifting): The diminutive lifter is expected to compete in Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. She is currently one of the best in the world.
Arif Mohammed Khan (Skiing): He is the lone Indian to qualify for the Beijing Winter Olympics. The 31-year-old will compete in Slalom and Giant Slalom events.
MC Mary Kom (Boxing): After the Tokyo Olympics failure, the boxing great will hope to do well in the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.
Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing): She will eye more medals. The 24-year-old will be a favourite in Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
Amit Panghal (Boxing): He was one of the flops for India in Tokyo. The 26-year-old will hope to redeem himself in 2022.
Manu Bhaker (Shooting): The 19-year-old remains one of India's best shooters. She will need to forget what happened in Tokyo and focus on upcoming events.
Saurabh Chaudhary (Shooting): Another teen sensation who failed to hit the mark at the world's greatest stage. But in Hangzhou and Birmingham, the 19-year-old will be a hot favourite.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya (Wrestling): The two-time Asian champion will be a strong favourite to win medals in Hangzhou and Birmingham.
Bajrang Punia (Wrestling): The star wrestler settled for a bronze medal in Tokyo. But he will defend the title in Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
Deepak Punia (Wrestling): The world cadet and junior world champion will be a medal favourite in Hangzhou and Birmingham.
Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling): The 27-year needs a fresh start after the Tokyo debacle. She is defending Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
Anshu Malik (Wrestling): 2022 will be a year of reckoning for the 20-year-old prodigious grappler.
Jeremy Lalrinnunga (Weighlifting): The 19-year-old can be the break-out star in 2022. Asian Games and Commonwealth Games await the Youth Olympics champion.
PV Sindhu (Badminton): The 26-year-old shuttler will have another busy year. And her targets will be individual golds in Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
Lakshya Sen (Badminton): The 20-year-old is primed for more success after a break-out year in 2021. Expect more titles.
Jehan Daruvala (Motorsport): 2022 will be a big year for the 23-year-old racer. He's India's most promising driver, and needs an F1 seat.
Sajan Prakash (Swimming): After his maiden Olympics appearance in Tokyo, the 28-year-old swimmer will hope to make a mark in the Asiad and Commonwealth Games.
Srihari Nataraj (Swimming): The 21-year-old will need to convert the so-called 'A' standards to international medals. Asian and Commonwealth Games present him with the perfect opportunities.
Kidambi Srikanth (Badminton): After injury layoffs, the seasoned shuttler returned with a bang and 2022 will be a hectic year for the 28-year-old.
Avani Lekhara (Shotting): The 20-year-old will hope to replicate her Paralympic success in Asian Para Games.
Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj (Badminton): It's no secret that the IAS officer seeks more glories. His first target will be an Asian Para Games individual gold in Hangzhou.
Sumit Antil (Athletics): The world record holder's next big challenge will be at the 2022 Asian Para Games. Javelin is a new fad in India.
Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (Athletics): The 27-year-old will defend the Asiad title in Hangzhou. And he has the ability to win world medals.
Hima Das (Athletics): The 22-year-old failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. But she remains a strong medal contender in the continental events.
Deepika Kumari (Archery): The star archer is seeking redemption after the Tokyo Olympics failure.
Also, Indian national teams will compete in the Women's Hockey World Cup, ICC Women's Cricket World Cup, Men's T20 World Cup, Hockey Pro League, etc.
But sadly, the national women's football team were forced to pull out of the Asian Cup at home after more COVID-19 breach in their bio-bubble.