Tokyo Olympics Countdown: Meet the athletes – PV Sindhu & Amit Panghal | Tokyo Olympics News

In our countdown to the Tokyo Olympics we will regularly profile some of the biggest Indian medal contenders. Today we feature a badminton star and a boxing champion – PV Sindhu and Amit Panghal
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (Badminton)
Date of Birth: July 5, 1995
Birth Place: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Sport/Event(s): Badminton
World ranking: 7th (As on 18 May 2021)
Major achievements:
* 2019 World Championships gold medal
* 2016 Rio Olympics silver medal
* Two silver and two bronze medals at the World Championships
* Asian Games – Individual silver (2018) & Team bronze (2014)
* Commonwealth Games – Mixed team gold (2018) & Individual silver (2018) and bronze (2014)

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
PV Sindhu is one of the most accomplished athletes from India, having won medals at almost all the major badminton tournaments including an unprecedented silver at the 2016 Rio edition, in what was her maiden Olympics appearance. The Rio success made her the first female athlete from India to win an Olympic silver medal.
Sindhu is also the reigning world champion after winning the 2019 World Championships title, as the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She was the first Indian to achieve that feat too. She also has four more medals from the prestigious World Championships – two silver and two bronze (silver in 2017 & 2018, bronze in 2013 & 2014).
Currently ranked 7th in the world, Sindhu will be looking to better her Rio performance at the Tokyo Games and change the colour of medal to gold.
In the 2016 final, Sindhu lost to Spain’s Carolina Marin. Sindhu won the first game 21-19, but then lost the next two 12-21, 15-21.
Sindhu will be eyeing the gold in Tokyo, but standing in her way will be the likes of Marin and current women’s singles world number one, Tai Tzu Ying.
India has never won a gold medal in badminton at the Olympics. Overall, only two athletes – Sindhu and Saina Nehwal (bronze in 2012) have won Olympic medals in badminton for India so far.
Amit Panghal (Boxing)
Date of Birth: October 16, 1995
Birth Place: Rohtak, Haryana
Sport/Event(s): Boxing (Flyweight – 52kg)
World ranking: 1st (In his weight category)
Major achievements:
* 2019 World Championships silver medal
* 2018 Asian Games gold medal
* 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medal
* 2019 Asian Championships gold medal

Amit Panghal. (PTI Photo)
The first Indian male boxer to win a silver medal at the World Championships, Amit Panghal has established himself as a big medal prospect for India in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Amit has been a regular member of the Indian national team set-up since becoming the national champion in 2017, his debut senior nationals. He went on to win a silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games before clinching a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games.
Before the pandemic severely curtailed the sporting calendar, Amit won gold at 2019 Asian Championships and followed that up with a historic silver at the 2019 World Championships in Russia. The 25-year old flyweight pugilist is currently ranked as the world number 1 in his weight category.
He shifted to the 52kg weight category in the 2019 Asian Championships to qualify for the Olympics, because the 49 kg category, which he fought in earlier, was removed from the Olympic programme.
So far only two Indian boxers have won an Olympic medal – Vijender Singh (bronze in 2008) and MC Mary Kom (bronze in 2012).

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