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Paris Olympics 2024: Promising Indian Women Athletes To Watch Out

Indian athletes are all set to demonstrate their impeccable sporting prowess at the upcoming Paris Olympics. Here is a list of women athletes poised to make the nation proud at the much-awaited international tournament.

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Tanya Savkoor
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Bhajan Kaur | Instagram @kaurbarcher

Indian athletes are all set to demonstrate their impeccable sporting prowess at the upcoming Paris Olympics. The much-awaited international tournament is scheduled for July 26, 2024 till August. Sporting communities have been meticulously prepping to bring their 'A' game and make the nation proud. This can be seen in the splendid zealous spirit portrayed at qualifying events across different sports, from track and field to martial arts. Conquering all gender barriers and other societal obstacles, women in sports have showcased incomparable athleticism to qualify for the Olympics. Here is a list of some such athletes that you must root for.

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Archer Bhajan Kaur

Bhajan Kaur secured India's first women's individual recurve archery berth for the Paris Olympics 2024. On June 16, the 18-year-old secured a gold medal at the final world qualifying tournament in Antalya. Kaur is the second Indian archer to qualify for the Paris Games, following Dhiraj Bommadevara in the men's event.

Kaur secured a 6-2 victory over Iran’s Mobina Fallah in the match. She started strong with two nines, clinching the first set 28-26. Then, in the second set, both archers shot 29 apiece. The Indian athlete then took control, winning the third set 29-26. Despite the fourth set ending 29-29, Kaur's earlier dominance ensured her 6-2 win. 

Boxer Jaismine Lamboria

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Jaismine Lamboria became the first woman from the Indian Army to qualify for the Olympics, as she defeated Marine Camara of Mali with a 5-0 scoreline in the qualifiers on June 2. She gained a quota in the women's 57 kg category, reclaiming India's spot after Parveen Hooda was suspended for a whereabouts failure last month.

Judoka Tulika Maan

Tulika Maan, a Delhi-origin judo champion, earned her spot at the Paris Olympics 2024 on May 29, through the continental quota. The quota is reserved for athletes who secure the most points across all genders on the continental ranking list. Maan is set to compete in the +78kg category at the Olympics.

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Maan represented India and clinched a silver at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, England. Earlier in 2024, at the Asian Judo Championships, the 25-year-old defeated Olympic champion Kim Ha-yun of the Republic of Korea. She also holds a gold medal from the South Asian Games 2019, Nepal.

Golfer Aditi Ashok

Aditi Ashok is set to represent India for the third time at the Olympics. The Indian Golf Union, which oversees the qualification process, states that players are required to be among the top 60 in the world according to the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) to secure their spots. Ashok holds a commendable ranking of 46.

Ashok secured fourth place at the previous Olympics at Tokyo in 2021, and already set a high bar for performance. She is a pioneering golfer who clinched the first medal for India at an Asian Games individual golf tournament, as she grabbed a bronze in 2023. The Indian women's golf team also holds the top slot at the Asian Games 2023, held in Hangzhou, China. 

Sailor Nethra Kumanan

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Chennai-origin sailor Nethra Kumanan booked a berth to Paris in April 2024, under the Emerging Nations Program banner at the Last Chance Regatta, an Olympic qualifier, in Hyeres, France. The Emerging Nations Program by the organisation World Sailing reserves a place for sailors from lesser-known sailing nations to make an impact at the top level. 

Kumanan is the first woman from India to ever qualify for the Olympics, as she competed in the Tokyo Games three years ago and managed 67 net points to finish fifth on the overall leaderboard. She started sailing in a summer class in 2010 at Tamil Nadu Sailing Association's 'Summer Sailing Camp' where she found her passion.

Boxer Nikhat Zareen

Two-time World Champion Nikhat Zareen sealed her Paris Olympics quota in September 2023, after years of prepping for the day. The 27-year-old Asian Games bronze medallist has been one of India's most consistent boxers, as she has lost two bouts in her career so far. She is on a mission to be the first Indian woman boxer to win either Olympic gold or silver.

The athlete, who has worked tirelessly to get where she is, has missed out on many important events in her personal life-- from family time to spending Eid at home. "I believe better things are waiting for me. Next year, I’ll celebrate Eid with an Olympic medal, inshallah!" she once told Indian Express in an interview. 

Parul Chaudhary: Steeplechase

In August 2023, Parul Chaudhary booked her place in the Paris Olympics and set a new national record as she secured the 11th in the women's 3000m steeplechase finals at the World Athletics Championships in Hungary. She showcased her prowess by clocking an individual best time of 9:24.29 seconds, her determination and skills.

She managed to outdo her previous performance, completing the race in an impressive 9:15.31. This outstanding achievement not only surpassed her compatriot Lalita Babar's record of 9:19.76 set during the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil, but it also exceeded the qualifying standards for the women’s steeplechase event at the Paris Olympics, set at 9:23.00.

Nikhat Zareen Aditi Ashok Nethra Kumanan Paris Olympics 2024 Tulika Maan Parul Chaudhary
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