Nehwal’s form has dipped a little in 2011 and she’s dropped down to number 4 in the world rankings. 2012 is when she can get back on top. She reached the quarterfinals at the last Olympics. By her own admission all she craves is an Olympic gold. London 2012 could be the place where she achieves her dream.
The 19-year-old Manipuri was among the first three Indian boxers to seal their Olympic berths. Singh knocked out 2010 American Continental champion Carlos Quipo of Ecuador at the World Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. His fast moves and smart use of the ring should hold him in good stead in 2012.
Boxer Mangte Chungneijang Merykom, popularly known as Mary Kom, has a load of expectations upon her. With five world boxing champion titles under her belt, the petite pugilist will be the favourite to win the gold medal in London next year. It is for the first time that women’s boxing is included in Olympics and the 28-year-old knows that this is her best chance, and probably the last, to come on top.
Image: Adnan Abidi / Reuters
In last year’s Commonwealth Games, the super mom from Haryana ended India’s 52-year-old wait for a gold medal in athletics when she topped the podium in discus. With a much tougher line up at the London Olympics, 29-year old Poonia will have to bring out her best and fortunately for India, she has shown that she is up for a fight. Poonia was also in news last year for her war-of-words with the Australian world champion Dani Samuels.
This 21-year-old kid from a Mumbai slum has emerged as one of Indian hockey’s best forwards. He scored a penalty against Pakistan in the finals of the Asian Champions Trophy in China in September that helped India win 4-2.