The number of Indian athletes participating in the Summer Olympic Games has seen a rise in each of its past three editions and all signs pointed to the finest athletes continuing that trend for India at Tokyo 2020.
More than 100 Indians qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. This included two relay and two hockey teams.
List of Indian athletes qualified for 2021 Olympics
- Tarundeep Rai, men’s recurve
- Atanu Das, men’s recurve
- Pravin Jadhav, men’s recurve
- Deepika Kumari, women's recurve
The men's trio also competed as a team at Tokyo 2020.
Athletics has never been India’s strong suit at the Olympics but javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra changed all that.
The 4x400 mixed relay, which made its debut at Tokyo 2020, also saw an Indian team, which had Asian Games gold-medallist Muhammed Anas, after they finished third at the World Athletics Championships in 2019.
But it was KT Irfan that offered the first hope when in March 2019, he became the first Indian athlete to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. India's sprint ace Dutee Chand also made her second Olympic appearance.
- KT Irfan, men's 20km race walking
- Sandeep Kumar, men's 20km race walking
- Rahul Rohilla, men's 20km race walking
- Gurpreet Singh, men's 50km race walking
- Bhawna Jat, women's 20km race walking
- Priyanka Goswami, women's 20km race walking
- Avinash Sable, men's 3000m steeplechase
- Murali Sreeshankar, men's long jump
- MP Jabir, men's 400m hurdles
- Neeraj Chopra, men's javelin throw
- Shivpal Singh, men's javelin throw
- Annu Rani, women's javelin throw
- Tajinderpal Singh Toor, men's shot put
- Dutee Chand, women's 100m and 200m
- Kamalpreet Kaur, women's discus throw
- Seema Punia, women's discus throw
- 4x400 mixed relay
- Men's 4x400m relay
World champion PV Sindhu made history in Tokyo, becoming the first Indian woman to win two individual Olympic medals. Accompanying her were B Sai Praneeth in the men’s singles and the duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.
- PV Sindhu, women’s singles
- B Sai Praneeth, men’s singles
- Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, men’s doubles
Indian boxers punched as many as nine tickets to the Tokyo Olympics at the Asia Oceania boxing Olympic qualifiers held in Amman, Jordan.
- Vikas Krishan, men's 69kg
- Lovlina Borgohain, women's 69kg
- Ashish Kumar, men's 75kg
- Pooja Rani, women's 75kg
- Satish Kumar, men's 91kg
- Mary Kom, women's 51kg
- Amit Panghal, men's 52kg
- Manish Kaushik, men's 63kg
- Simranjit Kaur, women's 60kg
Fouaad Mirza became the first Indian equestrian to qualify for the Games in 20 years. He sealed his quota in eventing after topping the group in the individual event category at the South East Asia and Oceanic qualifiers in November 2019.
Bhavani Devi became the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympics. The sabre fencer from Chennai booked her slot for Tokyo 2020 through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) method at the Budapest Sabre World Cup, an Olympic qualifying event, in Hungary in March 2021.
India's participation in golf at Tokyo 2020 featured Anirban Lahiri and Udayan Mane in the men's and Aditi Ashok and Diksha Dagar in the women's events. Both Udayan and Diksha made the cut as replacements and will be making their Olympic debut.
- Anirban Lahiri
- Udayan Mane
- Aditi Ashok
- Diksha Dagar
Pranati Nayak was only the second Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics. The artistic gymnast made the cut in May 2021 via the Asian quota.
- Men’s hockey national team
- Women’s hockey national team
Tokyo was the 20th Olympic Games list to feature the Indian men’s hockey team while the women’s side made their third appearance and second in succession.
Both teams, led by Manpreet Singh (men's) and Rani Rampal (women's), qualified in November 2019 and each of them carried an 18-member squad to Tokyo 2020.
Sushila Devi Likmabam was India's only participant in Judo at Tokyo 2020. She made the Olympic cut in the women's extra-lightweight (48kg) division as the highest-ranked Asian judoka outside the top 18 on the Olympic Game Quota (OGQ) rankings list.
Indian rowers Arjun Jat and Arvind Singh qualified in the men’s lightweight double sculls event at the Asian qualifiers in Tokyo, Japan in May 2021.
Nethra Kumanan became the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics at the Mussanah Open Championship 2021 in April. Three other Indian sailors also made the Tokyo cut in Oman. For the first time India competed in more than one sailing event at the Games - Laser Radial, Laser Standard and 49er. India never had more than two sailors at a single Olympics before.
- Nethra Kumanan, Laser Radial
- Vishnu Saravanan, Laser Standard
- KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar, 49er
As many as 15 Indian shooters achieved Olympic qualification, making it the country’s largest contingent at any Games.
Youngsters Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan were the highest-ranked in the 10m air rifle men’s and women’s, respectively, while Manu Bhaker was impressive.
While the following athletes secured a quota place in their respective category, their participation at the showpiece event was decided by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). The final Indian shooting team saw Chinki Yadav's quota handed to rifle shooter Elavenil Valarivan.
- Anjum Moudgil, 10m women’s air rifle
- Apurvi Chandela, 10m women’s air rifle
- Divyansh Singh Panwar, 10m men’s air rifle
- Deepak Kumar, 10m men’s air rifle
- Tejaswini Sawant, 50m women’s rifle 3 position
- Sanjeev Rajput, 50m men’s rifle 3 position
- Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar, 50m men’s rifle 3 position
- Manu Bhaker, 10m women’s air pistol
- Yashaswini Singh Deswal, 10m women’s air pistol
- Saurabh Chaudhary, 10m men’s air pistol
- Abhishek Verma, 10m men’s air pistol
- Rahi Sarnobat, 25m women’s pistol
- Chinki Yadav, 25m women’s pistol (replaced by Elavenil Valarivan)
- Angad Veer Singh Bajwa, men’s skeet
- Mairaj Ahmad Khan, men’s skeet
Sajan Prakash became the first Indian to directly qualify for the Olympics when he achieved the elusive 'A' cut in the 200m butterfly event. Srihari Nataraj too managed to achieve the 'A' cut in the 100m backstroke a day later. Maana Patel qualified via the universality quota, which ensured three Indians swimmers competing at the Summer Games for the first time.
- Sajan Prakash, men's 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly
- Srihari Nataraj, men's 100m backstroke
- Maana Patel, women's 100m backstroke
Four Indian table tennis players qualified for the Olympics at the Asian qualifiers in Doha in March 2021. It included the veteran Sharath Kamal, who made his fourth appearance at the Games. While G Sathiyan and Sutirtha Mukherjee sealed their Tokyo spots with wins in their respective groups, Manika Batra and Sharath Kamal booked their place on the basis of their rankings.
- Sharath Kamal
- Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
- Sutirtha Mukherjee
- Manika Batra
Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra also competed together in the mixed doubles after earning their Olympic berths at the Asian qualifiers.
Sania Mirza qualified for Tokyo 2020 via her protected ranking and she chose Ankita Raina to be her partner in the women's doubles. Meanwhile, Sumit Nagal made his Olympic debut in the men's singles.
- Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina, women's doubles
- Sumit Nagal, men's singles
Mirabai Chanu was India's only representative in weightlifting at Tokyo 2020. Ranked second in the world, the former world champion was among the favourites for a medal in the women's 49kg weight division. She eventually won a silver.
There were seven wrestlers from India who competed at Tokyo 2020. While the grapplers secured a quota place for their country in their respective categories, the Wrestling Association of India has confirmed their seats for Tokyo 2020. With Sonam Malik winning the quota in the 62kg category, Rio 2016 bronze medallist Sakshi Malik did not wrestle at the Tokyo Olympics.
- Seema Bisla, women's 50kg
- Vinesh Phogat, women’s 53kg
- Anshu Malik, women's 57kg
- Sonam Malik, women's 62kg
- Ravi Kumar Dahiya, men’s freestyle 57kg
- Bajrang Punia, men’s freestyle 65kg
- Deepak Punia, men’s freestyle 86 kg