Manu, Pradeep, Tejaswin and Divya could win medals in the Commonwealth Games.


With the Commonwealth Games, scheduled to be held in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4, the attention is firmly on our athletes. Sunday Guardian, identifies four athletes who can bring glory to the country. These four athletes Manu Bhaker, Pradeep Singh, Tejaswin Shankar and Divya Sen are virtual unknown entities to the world, but are capable of winning medals. Following are penpics of these four athletes.

Manu Bhaker

It  has been a mere two years that Manu Bhaker began her tryst with shooting and within a short span,  she has won hearts by her sterling shows. She is a two time national record holder and also became the youngest Indian ever to have won the gold in ISSF World Cup. Hailing from Charkhi Dadri in Haryana Manu has been a national level player in boxing, tennis, skating and Thang Ta (Martial Arts of Manipur). Due to a nasty blow she sustained on on her eyes she left boxing and joined shooting.

In the ISSF World Cup which was held at Mexico, she clinched gold after defeating Mexico’s Alijandra Zavala. In her favourite event, the 10m Air Pistol event, she won the ISSF World Cup title in junior & senior. In the mixed event she bagged a gold alongwith Om Prakash Mitharva and Anmol .  Her partnerships with Anmol has proved to be fruitful as she has set a highest qualification score which proved to be a world record as well with the good thing being that she even defeated China’s leading player as well.

This new sensation has won 9 gold in National Games even defeating prominent players like Heena Sidhu. She is in her best of her form as she has won a silver at the Asian Championship as well.

Pradeep Singh

When it comes to weightlifting, there is hardly anyone who does not know world record holder Meera Bai Chanu. But you will hardly find anyone talking about Pradeep Singh. But lest assured he will surely  become a centre of attraction after the CWG.  Gold Coast is not a new place for him as in the CWG championship, he won a Gold and also qualified for the CWG lifting 342 kgs. Recently, at the World Championship in America, he easily liftted 342 kg weight. Apart from this he regularly lifts 355kg in the practice sessions. The 22 years old railway employee from Punjab has been consistent in his age. In 2015, Pradeep shifted from junior to Senior category. His present form can be analysed on the basis of his achievement in the Nationals held at Patiala and Tamil Nadu as he won a gold. Vijay Sharma, the chief coach believes that even though everyone is expected to break the records its going to be Pradeep who will prove to be dark horse and is expected to come with a miracle.

Tejaswin Shankar

Tejasvin Shankar became the centre of attraction when he won gold at the Federation Cup by setting a national record .  By this performance he not only qualified for the CWG but  has also improved his earlier junior national record of 2.26m. This performance of Tejaswin is equivalent to that of the silver medallist of CWG. He believes that this time he will raise his performance upto 2.31m. With the same performance, Canada’s Derek Drouin won the gold. The level of competition in athletics in CWG is very high and of Tejaswin could even win a gold. This year Tejaswin’s performance of 2.28 has been the greatest amongst all the Commonwealth players. Recently, in the Rozorback invitation he broke Indian Indore nationals record. Quite a few days before Tejaswin was a student of Sardar Patel school where he was part of school’s cricket team but shifted to athletics at the suggestion of his physical teacher  he.

Divya Sen  

Recently Divya Sen has been promoted from junior to senior category and within a very short time she has reached to the finals of Asian Championship. With the progress of time there has been a maturity in her performance as well. Earlier, her game was only restricted to  power and  she could perform 1 or 2 patent techniques. But now, with her allround technique, she has drastically improved her performance. After defeating Ritu Malik and Geeta Phogat at Haryana government’s Bharat kesari dangal, she won 68 kg bout and a price money of 10 lakh rupees. Before this achievement she has won the Nationals at Indore and a gold in at the CW Championship at Johannesburg proving her credentials.  She could get a tough fight from former CWG winner Danielle Lappage of Canada  and also from the  bronze medallist Blessing Oborududu. Lappage also qualified for the medal round in 2014 World Championship. Lappage has also participated at the London Olympics. A gold against them can prove to be a tonic for the talented Indian.

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