The journey to Paris 2024 has already begun since last year. Till now, a total of 15 athletes have already qualified, including 8 shooters and 7 track and field athletes.
Written by Astik Raj
Hangzhou is all set to host the 19th Asian games from next week, different teams from different countries have started to take their flights already.
The Games is going to be an important tournament for our athletes also because it offers direct qualifications to Paris 2024 in certain events.
Briefly speaking, Indian athletes can qualify for their respective events at Paris 2024 in any of the three ways.
The first one is the athletes can qualify based on their performances at designated tournaments, Asian Games being one of them.
The second way is, they can qualify is by the Olympic world rankings which is determined cumulatively after their performances in different authorised events.
The last one is specific to events in Athletics or Swimming, where achieving a pre-set qualifying standard at certain authorised events helps them to qualify directly, as Neeraj Chopra just did at the World Athletics Championships 2023 in Budapest.
Till now, a total of 15 Indians have qualified for Paris 2024 in Athletics and Shooting. Let us have a look at Indian athletes’ qualification chances in this year’s Asian Games.
The Asian Games is going to be the second chance for our archers to get a quota at the Olympics. No Indian archers have qualified for Paris 2024 at the recently concluded World Archery Championships. They have got three tournaments at the Asian level including Asian Games to get the quota.
Also, you do not get qualification chances for all the events at a certain tournament. For example, the mixed team and individual archers are eligible for quotas in recurve archery at the Asian Games, while the men’s and women’s team will have the chance in the Asian Championships later in November. Compound Archery is still not present at the Olympics.
So, the gold and silver medalists from individual events get the quotas for individual events while only the gold medalist mixed team gets the quota for next year’s Olympics.
We have hopes set for Dhiraj Bommadevara, Atanu Das and Bhajan Kaur to make it.
Athletics and Swimming:
In events like athletics and swimming, the athletes need to breach their respective qualification marks in different authorised competitions corresponding to their events. Till now, a total of 8 Indian athletes have qualified for Paris 2024 including the likes of Murali Sreeshankar, Parul Choudhary and Neeraj Chopra.
There are a lot of Indian athletes who will look to qualify by breaching their qualifying marks, for example Tajinder Toor in Shot Put will look to cross 21.50m this time, although he has done it before the qualification period achieving a good distance of 21.77m.
Athletes like Jeswin Aldrin, Kishore Jena and Srihari Natraj will also look to give their best.
The Asian Games is going to be the first tournament for Indian boxers to get a quota directly for the Olympics. They will get another shot to qualify at the World Championships next year. A total of 34 asian boxers will get the chance to get quotas from the Asian Games according to the guidelines by the IOC.
For men’s, the gold and silver medalists will get the quotas in all Olympic weight categories. For women’s, the gold, silver and bronze medalists (4 of them) will get the direct entries except for 66 kg and 75 kg categories. In these two categories, there are only two quotas available.
The likes of Niikhat Zareen, Lovlina Borgohain, Parveen Hooda, Shiva Thapa, and Deepak Bhoria will have their eyes on these quotas.
Favourites to win the gold medal, the number 1 ranked team in Asia, Indian men’s team have another reason to win the Asian Games, as the gold medalists get direct qualification for the Olympics and later to avoid the FIH Olympic qualifiers.
Similarly, for the women’s team, they are also the number 1 ranked team, behind them are Japan(10), China(11) and Korea(12) whom they need to cross to get a direct qualification quota and avoid the FIH Olympic qualifiers to be held in China and Valencia later.
There are five places on offer for the direct qualification at the Olympics, Mayank Chaphekar, will be the only Indian to compete and eye for the Olympic quota.
For all the sailing events, namely – Windsurfer, kite, One person Dinghy and skiff, the olympic quotas are offered for each men’s, women’s and mixed teams. Indian sailing team consisting of 16 members will eye these spots.
The champion from both the singles event Men and Women will earn a direct entry to Paris 2024. Although there are very limited possibilities but Sumit Nagal does raise hope.
Apart from these, in sports like Shooting, Wrestling and Weightlifting, the authorities do not consider the Asian Games as the qualification tournament, the quotas are allotted based on the other tournaments. There are sports like Water Polo and Breaking offer quotas but the Indian challenge is not there.