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Thai and Indian athletes to keep tabs on during the Olympics

by Ashima

For those who want to tune in, the competition kicks off tomorrow!

By Ashima Sethi

After a lot of back and forth, the 2020 Summer Olympics are going ahead as scheduled. A decision that has been met with a lot of controversy considering the world is still in the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis, and Japan in particular has struggled to stay afloat after being hit with a recent wave of infections.

The news leading up to the Olympic Games reiterate that this year’s competition will be unlike anything we’ve seen previously, the most prominent difference is that there will be no spectators at any of the events as Japan is still in a ‘State of Emergency.’ A decision that has left many athletes confused as the country continues to host domestic basketball, sumo, and baseball games.

Regardless of these significant differences, the games are still expected to have millions of viewers tune online. So, as proud Thai-Indians, which athletes should we keep tabs on?

Thailand is expected to have 42 athletes represent the Kingdom at this year’s Olympics, while India will have 120. They are as follows:

Athletics:

  • Kieran Tuntivate in the Men’s 10,000m (a Thai-American distance runner who ran at a collegiate level with Harvard University and turned professional with the Bowerman Track Club)
  • Subenrat Insaeng in the Women’s Discus Throw (she’s run several regional medals for the sport)
  • Jabir M Palliyalil in the Men’s 400m Hurdles (the first Indian male athlete to qualify for the event)
  • Muhammed Anas Yahiya (holds the national record), Noah Nirmal Tom (competed at the World Athletics Championships), Amoj Jacob (was a part of India’s gold medal winning team at the Asian Athletics Championships), Arokia Rajiv (competed in the last Olympics) in the Men’s 4 x 400m Relay
  • Sandeep Kumar in Men’s 20km Walk (competed in the last Olympics)
  • Rahul Rohila in Men’s 20km Walk (a promising new entrant)
  • Irfan Kolothum Thodi in Men’s 20km Walk (set the national record in 2012)
  • Gurpreet Singh in Men’s 50km Walk (a promising new entrant)
  • Avinash Sable in Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase (holds the national record)
  • Dutee Chand in Women’s 100m and 200m (national champion in this event;  India’s first athlete to openly come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community)
  • Priyanka Goswami in the Women’s 20km Walk (previously won the national championships)
  • Bhawna Jat in the Women’s 20km Walk (previous national record holder for the event)
  • Sarthak Bhambri, Alex Antony, Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan (all promising new entrants) in the Mixed 4 x 400m Relay
  • Neeraj Chopra in Men’s Javelin Throw (set the national record with a World Leading position)
  • Shivpal Singh in Men’s Javelin Throw (previously won silver at the Asian Championships)
  • Murali Sreeshankar in Men’s Long Jump (previously broke the national record)
  • Tajinder Pal Toor in Men’s Shot Put (holds the outdoor national record)
  • Kamalpreet Kaur in Women’s Discus Throw (a promising new entrant)
  • Seema Punia in Women’s Discus Throw (previously competed at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Games)
  • Annu Rani in Women’s Javelin Throw (set the new national record)

Badminton:

  • Kantaphon Wangcharoen in Men’s Singles (the first Thai player ever to win a World Championships medal in the Men’s Singles event)
  • Ratchanok Intanon in Women’s Singles (she became the first Thai to become number one in Women’s Singles)
  • Busanan Ongbamrungphan in Women’s Singles (currently ranked 13 in the world)
  • Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai in Women’s Doubles (both were part of the national women’s team that won gold at the 2015, 2017, and 2019 SEA Games)
  • Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in Mixed Doubles (the duo made a clean sweep of all three 2020 Asian Leg Titles and are currently ranked at number 2 in the world)
  • B. Sai Praneeth in Men’s Singles (currently ranked 13th in the world)
  • P. V. Sindhu in Women’s Singles (the first Indian to become the Badminton World Champion and the first Indian woman to earn an Olympic silver medal)
  • Satwiksairaj Rankreddy and Chirag Shetty in Men’s Doubles (previously won gold at the Commonwealth Games)

Boxing:

  • Thitisan Panmot in Men’s Flyweight (a promising new entrant)
  • Chatchai Butdee in Men’s Featherweight (has won Male Athlete of the Year from the Sports Authority of Thailand)
  • Jutamas Jitpong in Women’s Flyweight (a promising new entrant)
  • Sudaporn Seesondee in Women’s Lightweight (former silver medallist at the Asian Games)
  • Baison Manikon in Women’s Welterweight (at 18, she’s the youngest of all boxers to qualify for the games)
  • Amit Panghal in Men’s Flyweight (won gold at the 2018 Asian Games)
  • Manish Kaushik in Men’s Lightweight (represented India at the Commonwealth Games)
  • Vikas Krishan Yadav in Men’s Welterweight (second Indian boxer in history to qualify for the Olympics for a third time)
  • Ashish Kumar in Men’s Middleweight (won silver at the Asian Championships)
  • Satish Kumar in Men’s Super Heavyweight (the first Indian boxer to qualify for this category)
  • Mary Kom in Women’s Flyweight (the only female to win the World Amateur Boxing Championship six times, the only female boxer to have won a medal in each of the first seven World Championships, and the only boxer to win eight World Championship medals)
  • Simranjit Kaur in Women’s Lightweight (she has represented India internationally since 2011)
  • Lovlina Borgohain in Women’s Welterweight ( become the first woman from Assam to qualify for the Olympics)
  • Pooja Rani in Women’s Middleweight (has represented India at the Commonwealth Games)

Canoeing:

  • Orasa Thiangkathok in Women’s C-1 200m (she is the country’s debut in the sport)

Cycling:

  • Chutikan Kitwanitsathian in the BMX Women’s Race (a promising new entrant for a brand-new sport)
  • Jutatip Maneephan in the Women’s Road Race (was recruited to ride for the Italian pro team, S.C. Michela Fanini Rox)

Equestrian:

  • Arinadtha Chavatanont, Weerapat Pitakanonda, Korntawat Samran
  • (This is the first time Thailand fielded a squad of three equestrian riders for the Games)
  • Fouaad Mirza (the first Indian equestrian in the last 20 years to qualify for the Games) 

Fencing:

  • C.A. Bhavani Devi in Women’s Sabre (has won silver and gold medals at championships around the world)

Field Hockey:

  • India Men’s Squad led by Captain Manpreet Singh (was 19 when he first represented India at the Olympics)
  • India Women’s Squad led by Captain Rani Rampal (At the age of 15, she was the youngest player in the national team that participated in the 2010 World Cup)

Golf:

  • Jazz Janewattananond in Men’s Golf (professional golfer playing on both the Asian and European tours)
  • Gunn Charoenkul in Men’s Golf (qualified directly among the top 60 eligible players)
  • Patty Tavatanakit in Women’s Golf (she won her first LPGA tour event this year)
  • Ariya Jutanugarn in Women’s Golf (became the number one ranked golfer in the Women’s World Golf Rankings in 2017)
  • Anirban Lahiri in Men’s Golf (currently plays on the Asian Tour and PGA Tour)
  • Udayan Mane in Men’s Golf (has won the Professional Golf Tour of India 11 times)
  • Aditi Ashok in Women’s Golf (plays on the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour)

Gymnastics:

  • Pranati Nayak in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (a promising new entrant)

Judo:

  • Kachakorn Warasiha in 52kg weight class (former gold medallist at the SEA Games)
  • Sushila Likmabam in 48kg weight class (previously won silver at the Commonwealth Games)

Rowing:

  • Siwakorn Wongpin and Nawamin Deenoi in Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls (promising new entrants)
  • Arjun Lal and Arvind Singh in Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls (promising new entrants)

Sailing:

  • Natthaphong Phonoppharat in the Men’s RS:X (also competed in the Rio Olympics)
  • Siripon Kaewduang-ngam in the Women’s RS:X (also competed in the Rio Olympics)
  • Kamolwan Chanyim in the Women’s Laser Radial (she is the first Thai woman that qualified for the Olympics in sailboat)
  • Vishnu Saravanan in the Men’s Laser (a promising new entrant)
  • K. C. Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar in the Men’s 49er (promising new entrants)
  • Nethra Kumanan in the Women’s Laser Radial (she is the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics)

Shooting:

  • Isaranuudom Phurihiranphat in the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol (a promising new entrant)
  • Savate Sresthaporn in the Men’s Trap (a promising new entrant)
  • Naphaswan Yangpaiboon in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol and Women’s 25m Pistol (former silver medallist at the Asian Games)
  • Tanyaporn Prucksakorn in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol and Women’s 25m Pistol (she has won two World Cup silver medals)
  • Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit in the Women’s Skeet (she has competed in several Olympic Games in the past)
  • Isarapa Imprasertsuk in the Women’s Skeet (a promising new entrant)
  • Saurabh Chaudhary in Men’s 10m Air Pistol (won gold and broke the world and junior records at the ISSF World Cup)
  • Abhishek Verma in Men’s 10m Air Pistol (ranked 1st in ISSF World Ranking)
  • Angad Bajwa in Men’s Skeet ( holds the Skeet Finals World Record of 60 out of 60)
  • Mairaj Ahmad Khan in Men’s Skeet (been an international level shooter for over 15 years and won multiple accolades)
  • Deepak Kumar in Men’s 10m Air Rifle (previously won bronze at the ISSF World Cup)
  • Divyansh Singh Panwar in Men’s 10m Air Rifle (previously won silver at the ISSF World Cup)
  • Sanjeev Rajput in Men’s 50m Rifle Three Positions (has represented India at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and the ISSF World Cup)
  • Aishwary Tomar in Men’s 50m Rifle Three Positions (set the junior world record in 2019)
  • Manu Bhaker in Women’s 10m Air Pistol and 25m Pistol (won gold at the Commonwealth Games at the age of 16)
  • Yashaswini Deswal in Women’s 10m Air Pistol (won gold at the ISSF World Cup)
  • Rashi Sarnobat in Women’s 25m Pistol (has won several gold medals at the ISSF World Cup and Commonwealth Games)
  • Apurvi Chandela in Women’s 10m Air Rifle (previously set a world record)
  • Elavenil Valarivan in Women’s 10m Air Rifle (has won gold at several World Cups and Junior World Cups)
  • Anjum Moudgil in Women’s 50m Rifle Three Positions (was ranked world number two)
  • Tejaswini Sawant Women’s 50m Rifle Three Positions (has represented India at the Commonwealth Games and ISSF World Cups)

Swimming:

  • Navaphat Wongcharoen in Men’s 100m and 200m Butterfly (previously represented Thailand at the Asian Games)
  • Jenjira Srisaard in Women’s 50m and 100m Freestyle (she has been representing Thailand on the world stage since 2012)
  • Srihari Nataraj in Men’s 100m Backstroke (has represented India at the Youth Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Games)
  • Sajan Prakash in Men’s 100m and 200m Butterfly and 200m Freestyle (he is the holder of 11 national swimming records)
  • Maana Patel in Women’s 100m Backstroke (as of 2016, she had already won 11 international, 61 national and 75 state level medals)

Table Tennis:

  • Orawan Paranang in Women’s Singles (a promising new entrant)
  • Suthasini Sawettabut in Women’s Singles (has been playing the sport since the age of six)
  • Sharath Kamal Achanta in Men’s Singles (first Indian table tennis player ever to become nine times Senior National Champion)
  • Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in Men’s Singles (has won multiple medals at World Cups and the Commonwealth Games)
  • Manika Batra in Women’s Singles (she is the top-ranked female table tennis player in India)
  • Sutirtha Mukherjee in Women’s Singles (won gold at the Commonwealth Games)

Tennis:

  • Sumit Nagal in Men’s Singles (currently the highest-ranked Indian singles tennis player)
  • Sania Mirza (a former doubles world number one, she has won six Grand Slam titles) and Ankita Raina ( one of only two women representing India who has won a WTA-level title) in Women’s Doubles

Taekwondo:

  • Ramnarong Sawekwiharee in Men’s 58kg (secured bronze medals at two World Championships)
  • Panipak Wongpattanakit in Women’s 49kg (has won gold medals at the World Championships, SEA Games, and Asian Games)

Weightlifting:

  • Saikhom Mirabai Chanu in Women’s 49kg (previously won gold at the World Weightlifting Championships)
  • Thailand’s team has been banned due to doping.

Wrestling:

  • Ravi Kumar Dahiya in Men’s 57kg (previously won bronze at the World Wrestling Championships)
  • Bajrang Punia in Men’s 65kg (only Indian to have won three medals at the World Wrestling Championships)
  • Deepak Punia in Men’s 86kg (previously won silver at the World Wrestling Championships)
  • Seema Bisla in Women’s 50kg (bronze medalist at the Asian Wrestling Championships)
  • Vinesh Phogat in Women’s 53kg (first Indian woman wrestler to win Gold in both the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games)
  • Anshu Malik in Women’s 57kg (has won gold at the Asian Championships)
  • Sonam Malik in Women’s 62kg (has won several gold medals at the National Games and World Cadet Wrestling Championships)

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