Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina are all set to represent India at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in Women’s Doubles Tennis. Entries were officially declared on Thursday.
Mirza will become the first female athlete to represent India at four Olympics including Tokyo 2021. The matches are slated to initiate from July 23. Ankita Raina will be debuting at the event.
Presently, the duo will be seen competing against each other in the first round of the mixed doubles at Wimbledon on Friday. Twitter was abuzz with excitement from Thursday night as four of India’s top tennis stars – Rohan Bopanna, Sania Mirza, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina, square off against each other in the first round of the mixed doubles event.
While Mirza and Bopanna were originally scheduled to play Marton Fucsovics and Timea Babos, they will now be facing Ramanathan and Raina as an alternate pair due to the duo’s late withdrawal from the match.
Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister of Youth Affairs took to Twitter on Friday to congratulate the duo along with many fans, friends and family of the players.
I congratulate @mirzasania and @ankita_champ, who will represent India in Women’s Doubles Tennis at #Tokyo2020 after entries were officially announced. This will be Sania’s 4th Olympics while it will be Raina’s debut. All the best to them. #Cheer4India pic.twitter.com/QsXITFzXd3— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) July 2, 2021
In a press conference at Wimbledon on Thursday, Mirza admitted that going to the Tokyo Olympics was a difficult decision for her because of her two-year-old son Izhaan. She further added that as a working mother, “if it's something I have to do, then that's what I will do.”
Sania Mirza And Ankita Raina's accomplishments up till now
Mirza made her return to Wimbledon on Thursday after a three-year hiatus. Her comeback was marked by an immediate victory, as the player along with Bethanie Mattek Sands seated sixth seeds Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Krawczyk 7-5, 6-3 in the women’s doubles.
Ankita Raina is the top-ranked singles and doubles player in India and was nominated for the Arjuna Award recently. Tokyo Olympics 2021 will mark the star player’s entry into Olympics.
Other Players Representing India In The Tokyo Olympics 2021
So far, a total of 115 Indian athletes have qualified for the Olympics in Tokyo. PV Sindhu remains the only Olympic medallist in the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Games. Other prominent names include Dutee Chand for Women’s 100m, 200m race, Neeraj Chopra for Men's Javelin throw, and Mary Kom for Women's boxing (51 kg). Mirabai Chanu is the only Indian weightlifter at Tokyo 2020.