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  • Writer's pictureAaryan

India at Paris 2024: Projected Qualifiers

With under 2 months to go until the Olympics and about 1 month till all Olympic qualification is finalised, now is a good time to take a look at where India’s contingent could be at that point. Indian athletes have thus far secured 64 quotas for the Paris 2024 Olympics, getting closer to the mark of 90 from Tokyo. Will India exceed that mark and can the quota number reach 100 this time around? That’s the question I shall set out to answer here with a projection of the additional quotas India is likely to secure in the coming weeks. More than being an accurate predictor of India’s qualifiers, this is meant more as an effort to shed some light on the qualification journey of athletes looking to represent India at the Olympics, and highlighting some to cheer on in the coming weeks as they try to qualify.

Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony. Photo from: Sportskeeda

As before, I will be focusing on the total quota number, meaning a team counts as 1, no matter how many players, and a single athlete can earn multiple by qualifying in different events. I believe this is a better metric of participation than athlete count as it gives us the maximum number of medals we could theoretically win.

Will India Cross a Hundred Olympic Quotas?

With 64 quotas already and qualification for Archery, Athletics, Boxing, and more still pending, it is certainly possible. But my projection for India at these Olympics is 95, still up from Tokyo, but not quite the century. It is still the largest number in India's Olympic history. The following graph shows India's participation (in terms of quotas) at the last 10 Olympics.

As the graph shows, the projected increase of 5 would be on par with the increase between Rio & Tokyo, but in the context of the larger increasing trend in recent years, that would be the smallest jump since Beijing 2008. Indeed, going from 84 to 95 in the last 8 years is not that impressive when you consider we went up 25 spots in the 8 years prior to that. Granted, the jump between London and Rio was largely down to a much better showing in athletics, which has persisted. No other sport can singlehandedly boost numbers like that. But it is not unreasonable to have hoped for a 100 quotas at Paris with consistent progress across sports, and it could have been well within our grasp, with better management of the likes of wrestling, hockey, boxing, and perhaps even weightlifting.

Still, we look set to have the most quotas in history. Here is the breakdown of the projected quotas, by sport.

Shooting and Athletics are the big sports for Indian participation at the Games, followed next by Archery, where only 1 quota has been confirmed as of now, but more are undobtedly on the way. But in terms of the sportwise breakdown, let us also compare with Tokyo.

As we can see, the biggest difference-maker for Paris 2024 has been Shooting, which almost accounts for the entire increase by itself. We look set to surpass our Tokyo quota count in Athletics as well, so there has been a natural growth in both the biggest sports. While Archery & Badminton have also moved in the right direction, Boxing and Wrestling have moved backwards, which is certainly down to poor managment of the sport (at least for the latter). There will also be quotas in fewer sports this time around, with 16 as compared to 18 for Tokyo. The 100 was very possible with a couple more quotas for Boxing & Wrestling each, if Sreeshankar wasn't injured, if the women's hockey team got a little luckier with that agonising penalty shooutout against Germany. Still, 95 is a great haul (and it's just a projection), so let us look at how we arrived at that number.


Current - 3 Projected - 6

Ankushita Boro in action at the final Olympic Qualifier. Photo from: Athlete365


Let’s start with boxing since the final Olympic qualifier is on right now, having begun on May 25th and finishing June 2nd. India has secured 3 quotas going into it with Nikhat Zareen in the W50kg, Preeti Pawar in the W54kg, and Lovlina Borgohain in the W75kg, all through the Asian Games in 2023. There was a fourth qualifier from the Asiad in Parveen Hooda in the W57kg, but she was suspended by WADA earlier this month for whereabouts failures, meaning India had to give up that quota. Now, India has a boxer competing in all 10 remaining events at the final qualifier. It is a tough tournament with the some of the best boxers from the world over making a final bid for an Olympic spot, but India fields some very strong fighters as well.

Although he was not chosen for the 1st qualifier, CWG 2022 champion Amit Panghal has been brought in for this one and should have a good chance of going through, with a relatively favourable draw in the M51kg. Nishant Dev nearly qualified in the previous tournament, reaching the quota bout in the M71kg. He enters the tournament as one of the best in the draw and has a winnable bracket, so he should get through on form. Arundhati Choudhary has drawn a path to qualification in the W66kg that would likely cross opponents she has beaten in the recent past. While not easy bouts, these would be winnable, giving her a good chance. Sachin Siwach is one of the best fighters in the M57kg, but it is a tough draw, his path possibly crossing with the likes of Olympic Silver medallist Carlo Paalam. With only 3 spots available in this category, it will be a hard-fought quota for Sachin if he earns it.

The remaining fighters will likely have a tougher time of it. Ankushita Boro (W60kg) & Jaismine Lamboria (W57kg) both face tough draws and are fighting a weight down from what they fought in the 1st qualifier. Jaismine was listed as Boro’s reserve for this tournament and only found out she was fighting the 57kg a couple of weeks ago after Hooda’s suspension. As talented as she is, it would be unreasonable to expect her to pull a quota out of the bag under such circumstances, especially given she’d have to beat GBR’s Elise Glynn to do it. But don’t count her out just yet. Abhinash Jamwal (M63.5kg) is a bit of an unknown quantity who didn’t feature in the 1st qualifier and faces a difficult draw. And once we reach 80kg and above, India’s strength relative to other nations tends to drop off so it will be tough. Sanjeet Kumar’s (92kg) path could cross Tokyo Bronze medallist Loren Alfonso (AZE) as well. As of writing (28th), Abhimanyu Loura (M80kg) was already knocked out in the in 2nd round.

Overall, there is potential for upto 5 and we can hope for 3 more quotas from Boxing, likely from Panghal, Nishant, and Arundhati.

Confirmed: Nikhat Zareen (W50kg), Preeti Pawar (W54kg), Lovlina Borgohain (W75kg)

Predicted: Amit Panghal (M51kg), Nishant Dev (M71kg), Arundhati Choudhary (W66kg)


Current - 1 Projected - 9

Deepika Kumari had a child late last year, but has already returned to the fray as one of India's key performers on the road to Paris. Photo from:


While only Dhiraj Bommadevara is qualified so far, some impressive performances from Indian archers in recent months could lead to a strong contingent heading to Paris. A lot will ride on the final Olympic qualifier taking place 15-16th June. The top 3 men’s teams and top 4 women’s teams from the qualifier earn quotas. Afterward, the top 2 highest ranked teams in each gender not yet qualified also earn quotas. And if a team earns a quota, then that nation earns 3 individual spots too. Without the team, the qualifier is the final chance for individual quotas, with 3 on offer for men and 4 for women. India’s men’s team is currently 2nd ranked in the world after winning the Shanghai World Cup in April, which means their qualification is effectively guaranteed, as even if they do not make it through the qualifier, they are sure to earn the quota through ranking.

It will not be as straightforward for the women’s team however, who are ranked 8th in the world. They are still 3rd out of the remaining non-qualified teams behind China and Taiwan and have recently been bolstered by the return of stalwart Deepika Kumari after giving birth. But after losses to lower ranked opposition in the recent world cups, the team’s position is precarious. If that happens again at the qualifier, they leave themselves a lot to do in the final world cup from 18-23rd June before rankings are finalised. In case the team does not qualify, then the individual performances at the final qualifier will be important, with 4 quotas up for grabs. I am confident in Deepika Kumari securing one there, as she is arguably the best archer from a non-qualified nation. She is also in great form coming off 2nd and 4th place finishes in the last 2 world cups. If she qualifies, that would effectively qualify India for the mixed team event as well.

We can conservatively expect at least 5 more quotas, then, with the M Team (and 2 additional individual spots) alongside Deepika Kumari and a mixed team berth. However, with 4 team spots at the final qualifier and India still fairly well-ranked, I will back the W Team to make it, giving us a total of 8 more quotas.

Confirmed: Dhiraj Bommadevara (M Ind)

Predicted: Tarundeep Rai (M Ind), Pravin Jadhav (M Ind), Deepika Kumari (W Ind), Bhajan Kaur (W Ind), Ankita Bhakat (W Ind), M Team, W Team, X Team


Current - 0 Projected - 1

44-year-old Bopanna has reached 3 Grand Slam finals in the last 10 months. Phot from: ATP/Peter Staples


Rohan Bopanna’s recent exploits with Matthew Ebden (winning Aus Open) have made him one of the top-ranked doubles players in the world. Tennis qualification for the Olympics is based on the world rankings on 10th June. Barring disaster at the ongoing French Open, Bopanna will remain in the top 10 and automatically qualify an Indian pair for the M Doubles in Paris. Unfortunately, the Mixed Doubles competition needs an independent female qualifier in another event, but India has no highly ranked female players after Sania Mirza’s retirement. An interesting contest, however, will be for Bopanna’s partner in the men’s event as he can choose whoever he wants. Yuki Bhambri is the highest ranked doubles player at 52, while Sumit Nagal is the highest ranked singles player (95). Which will Bopanna play with or will he choose someone else entirely?

Expected: M Doubles (Bopanna & Bhambri)


Current - 0 Projected - 1


The qualifiers for Judo will be confirmed based on rankings on 24th June, but with the World Championships concluding last week, the spots are effectively decided. The qualification for Judo is based entirely on world rankings, between June 2022 and June 2024, with spots for each category as well as a number of continental spots across events. No Indian judokas are amongst the top ranked for an individual event, but CWG silver medallist Tulika Maan is ranked well enough in the W78kg+ category to qualify through a continental spot. She is ranked 5th out of 10 continental spots for female judokas for Asia, so she has all but secured the quota, but this will be confirmed only in June.

Expected: Tulika Maan (W78kg+)


Current - 0 Projected - 4

Shubhankar Sharma looks set to qualify for his 1st Olympics. Photo from:


Golf is another sport whose qualification is based entirely on rankings. The Olympic Games Rankings (OGR) as of 17th June for men and 24th June for women will determine quota places. India looks good to have 4 Golfers at the Olympics once again, as in Tokyo. Aditi Ashok and Diksha Dagar look set to make repeat appearances, as they stand 25th & 40th in line for the 60 spots. On the men’s side, Shubhankar Sharma and Gaganjeet Bhullar currently hold Olympic ranks of 47 & 54. It could be touch & go for Gaganjeet as only 60 go to Paris, but he should have enough of a buffer to make it through.

Predicted: Aditi Ashok (W), Diksha Dagar (W), Shubhankar Sharma (M), Gaganjeet Bhullar (M)


Current - 11 Projected - 23

Jyothi Yarraji is chasing the qualifying mark of 12.77s in the 100mH. Photo from: Reuters


Track & Field is the biggest sport at the Olympics and India has sent strong contingents of athletes to the Games in recent years. Indian athletes have already secured 11 quotas by hitting Olympic Qualifying Standards (OQS) or via qualification events. There was one more in Murali Sreeshankar in the long jump, but he is unfortunately out due to a knee injury. A number of others will qualify through the Road to Paris Rankings based on performances until 30th June. It is difficult to predict how many exactly as it also depends on how others in the rankings do, but I will  highlight some of our best chances so we can follow their performances over the next month and cheer them on. The table at the bottom summarises India’s best ranked athletes across events and where they stand in the Road to Paris (RTP) Rankings as of 29th May. The RTP rankings will determine who qualifies at the end of June. Above the table, I will provide some more details on our best chances for qualifying.

One of the major challenges for Indian athletes is that domestic competitions do not offer many bonus ranking points, and most Indians looking to qualify don’t get the chance to go to high-profile meets like Diamond League - which offer lots of bonus points. Another disadvantage is that the European Athletic Championships are this June, which is a big event that will boost the performances and rankings of many European athletes. The Asian Championships, on the other hand, were last June, falling outside the qualification window. This will make some events harder to break into, and some well-placed Indians might slip down the rankings by the end of June. Still, there are several pushing hard to make the Olympic cut to represent India.

Jyothi Yarraji has twice come within 0.01s of the OQS of 12.77s in the W100mH and she looks in strong form, so she will hopefully cross that hurdle in June. If not, her RTP ranking of 29th out of 40 qualifiers is quite secure so she should get through in any case. DP Manu looks set to join compatriots Chopra and Jena in the M Javelin, as he is presently very securely placed as the 14th of 32 qualifiers - his ranking bolstered by his strong showing at last year’s World Champs. The auto-qualifying mark of 85.50m might be within reach too, but he has not yet come close this year. Female counterpart Annu Rani is also just over a meter off the qualifying standard for the W Javelin, but even if that proves a meter too far, she is well-placed to go through ranked 17th/32. Another secure qualifier looks to be Tajinderpal Singh Toor, who ranks 23/32 in the M Shot Put. He didn’t make it onto the RTP list until recently as he didn’t have enough competitions under his belt due to an injury last year. But he is back and has quickly made his mark, throwing over 20m again, and looking more likely to rise up the ranks than fall. His female counterpart Abha Khatua also looks set to qualify in the W Shot Put, with a big PB just a couple of weeks ago to bring her to 27/32. As long as she maintains her form with a couple more strong throws and wins the nationals at end of June, she will be safe to make the cut. The M Triple Jump is shaping up well too, with both Abdulla Aboobacker and Praveen Chithravel set to qualify as they are ranked 19th & 21st respectively. Chithravel could even hit the OQS as he crossed it last year and came within 10cm of it last month. The Long Jump looked similarly strong until Sreeshankar’s injury, which leaves Jeswin Aldrin to carry India’s hopes in the event. He is ranked well right now as 28/32 in the RTP list, but with the Euro Champs still to come, he will need to get back to 8 m at a significant meet to ensure he stays in the top 32 to qualify. Parul Chaudhary îs going to qualify for a 2nd event, alongside her specialty the Steeplechase, as she is ranked 27th/42 in the W 5000m. Whether or not she runs it is a different matter, but she will likely secure a quota in the event, as might Ankita Dhyani, ranked 39/42 behind her. However, she will need to run a faster time to consolidate her ranking as other athletes on the European tour or at the Euro Champs will get a boost through their competitions. But that improvement is difficult to find outside a major race. In a similar position in Parul’s other event is Priti Lamba, who sits right on the bubble ranked 36th for the 36 spots in Paris. She too will need to consolidate her position, and might need a PB by a few seconds at the national champs in late June. That covers the athletes currently in quota-winning positions.

Let us look at some of the athletes trying to improve their rankings to get into the qualifying positions. Vithya Ramraj is perhaps the highest-profile Indian athlete who finds herself outside the cut, ranked 57th for the 40 spots in the W 400mH. She will have to produce some big performances this June and the competitions at which she does so will also be important. She faced a slight injury scare at the Federation Cup too, which could also cause concern. But she looked in great shape earlier in the year, with a PB in the 400 flat, so I’m backing her to lower the NR this month. Her male counterpart Santhosh Kumar is even closer to qualifying, ranked 42nd in the M 400mH at the moment off the back of an excellent 2023. He just needs one or two more decent performances to get him over the line, and I reckon going sub-50 at the national champs should be enough. High-hurdler Tejas Shirse, in contrast, has had a more action-packed 2024, setting a new NR last week! He is ranked only 56th for 40 quota spots, but he’s only 0.14s off the OQS. Hitting that 13.27s mark is probably his best shot at qualifying, though it’s not clear from his last run where he can find that time. Going back to the jumps, Sarvesh Kushare is ranked 33rd in the M High Jump, just one spot away from the qualifiers. In good form for 2024, and with the benefit of competing in the US, he has collected a lot of ranking points this year, and now should be able to make the cut with just a couple of similar performances at higher-level meets. The W Long Jump is also promising with both Shaili Singh and Nayana James showing up in the rankings. Although Nayana has jumped better this year, Shaili is better positioned at 43/32 and with the benefit of competing in better competitions in Europe. If the youngster can hit her 6.76m form of last year at one of these meets, she will shoot up the rankings. Indian middle-distance running is an interesting case that has garnered some attention in recent weeks. KM Deeksha set a new NR in the W 1500m, but both she and Harmilan Bains don’t have enough competitions to show up in the RTP rankings. While there is potential for both, it will require multiple strong performances, and there isn’t a lot of time to come up with them. On the men’s side, teenager Parvej Khan has been making waves on social media after impressive wins in US collegiate races. The excitement is less about his times and more about his racing, however, which does not necessarily translate into ranking points, unfortunately. He is young and can go faster, but he will need to drop a chunk of time to have a chance. Ajay Kumar Saroj is closer to qualifying in the M 1500m and ranks 53/45, but he too will need to drop a few seconds from his PB to have a chance to qualify. The 400m is another interesting case where both the men’s and women’s relays have qualified for the Olympics, but no individuals look close to qualifying considering how globally competitive the event is. The best chance is for Muhammad Ajmal to meet the OQS by breaking the 45-second barrier, if he can find 4 tenths on his 45.36 from last year, but that is easier said than done. Overall, there are about 20 athletes who could add quotas through the rankings, and their performances over the coming weeks and especially at the National Champs of June 27-30th will be crucial in deciding that. My best guess would be about 12 quotas in additional to the 11 already secured.

As aforementioned, this table summarises current RTP standings of India’s best quota chances. I’ve included some I think have potential although they haven’t made it onto the RTP lists yet. There are also some in the RTP rankings I haven’t included. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but I would be quite (pleasantly) surprised if India had any qualifiers not mentioned here. Green highlights those who are ranked well within the qualifying spots. Yellow marks those who are just inside or close to breaking into qualifying spots.

Confirmed: Neeraj Chopra (M Javelin), Kishore Jena (M Javelin), Avinash Sable (M 3000m Steeplechase), Akshdeep Singh (M Racewalk), Suraj Panwar (M Racewalk), Ram Baboo (M Racewalk), Parul Chaudhary (W 3000m Steeplechase), Priyanka Goswami (W Racewalk), M 4x400m Relay, W 4x400m Relay, Mixed Racewalk Relay

Predicted by OQS: Jyothi Yarraji (W 100mH), Praveen Chithravel (M Triple Jump)

Predicted by Rankings: Parul Chaudhary (W 5K), Vithya Ramraj (W 400mH), Abha Khatua (W Shot Put), Annu Rani (W Javelin), Santhosh Kumar (M 400mH), Sarvesh Kushare (M High Jump), Jeswin Aldrin (M Long Jump), Abdulla Aboobacker (M Triple Jump), Tajinderpal Singh Toor (M Shot Put), DP Manu (M Javelin)


Current - 0 Projected - 2


With significantly faster OQTs for most events this year compared to Tokyo, no Indians have managed to hit any Qualification or Consideration times. But India will be eligible to have 2 athletes at Paris 2024 through the Universality places, which will give us 1 male and 1 female quota. These will go to the top Indian performer during the qualifying period based on World Aquatics points. As it stands, that will go to Srihari Nataraj in the M 100m Backstroke for the men, just beating freestyler Aryan Nehra by 2 points. For the women, that might well go to Dhinidhi Desinghu in the W 200m Freestyle, who is just 14 years old!

Predicted: Srihari Nataraj (M 100m Back), Dhinidhi Desinghu (W 200m Free)


The qualification for most other sports is already done, and Indian athletes have done extremely well across sports throughout this quad to earn coveted Olympic berths. I wrote an earlier piece on athletes who've qualified already, and you can track India's contingent on Wikipedia. Two sports I'd just like to touch upon for valiant qualifying efforts that fell short are Fencing and Gymnastics. India had a good showing at the Fencing Asian Olympic Qualifying tournament, with multiple fencers going deep into the competition and coming 1 or 2 wins away from a quota. Heartbreakingly falling short, however, was Bhavani Devi, who lost a topsy-turvy semi-final. She had missed qualifying through continental rankings by a single spot beforehand, but entered the qualifier as the highest ranked fighter. However, with only one spot available and the unpredictable nature of sabre fencing, that guaranteed nothing and she will miss Paris. As highlighted in this HT article, what is very unfortunate for the Tokyo Olympian is that she had essentially uprooted her entire life to move to France to train for Paris, but she will now miss the competition a few kilometres away from her house. Another such story of a close miss is of Dipa Karmakar in Gymnastics. The 2016 Rio Olympian has demonstrated incredible longevity for her sport after 2 ACL surgeries and a 21-month doping suspension, to come back and become a legitimate contender for Olympic qualification. She finished 4th in the FIG Apparatus World Cup Vault standings, despite missing one event. That was her opportunity to secure a spot directly for the Vault, her specialty, but ultimately the competition she was up against was too strong there. She then went to the Asian Champs, where quotas were only offered for the All-Around, so she could not qualify. Despite that, she went on to win India's 1st ever Gold medal at the event, by winning the Vault, a fitting ending for a valiant effort.

Is it still possible for India to reach a 100 quota spots? Certainly. The boxing qualifier could yield more than 3 quotas, but the rest of the work will have to be done by athletics. And there, my projection of 23 could easily turn into 25 or 26, but it could just as easily drop to 20, with the unpredictable nature of the rankings. I think surpassing Tokyo is a decent benchmark, and we should take each quota as it comes, applauding the athletes. The projection is not really important. My hope for this piece was to highlight the ongoing qualification efforts of India's athletes, as they push themselves to the limit to try and represent India in Paris. Be sure to follow along with the qualifying events this month and cheer them on (as opposed to silly World Cup shenanigans in that other 'sport').


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