5 Youngest Indian Players At The Asian Games, Ready To Rock The World Even Before They Get Into Their 20s

Sports By Isha bhama | 4 min read

Asian Games

India In Asian Games 2023

India has participated in all 18 editions of the Asian Games, making it one of the most successful nations in the history of the Asian Games. India has won a total of 621 medals, including 181 gold medals, 252 silver medals, and 188 bronze medals in the Asian Games.

India’s most successful sport in the Asian Games is wrestling, with 103 medals, followed by shooting (94 medals) and athletics (64 medals).

The Asian Games 2023, also known as the XVIII Asian Games, will be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8, 2023. The Asian Games will feature 40 sports and 406 events, with over 15,000 athletes from 45 Asian countries expected to compete.

In 2023, young players are bursting with potential! Many fresh faces have emerged to represent India at this year’s Asian Games. In this article, let’s meet five of these amazing players!

1. Avani Prashanth (16 Years)

Being 16 years of age, Avani Prashanth emerges from Bengaluru. Avani is going to be part of the women’s team for the Asian Games 2023. Avani has received mentorship from Laurence Brotheridge, a mentor from Great Britain, for a period spanning more than four years.

She had a dream to represent her nation, and she got her chance in 2022 but unfortunately, the event got cancelled. In 2023, she got her chance once again.

At the age of 16, Avani has already secured the title of national amateur champion twice, most recently achieving this feat in late November at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. Her journey in golf began at the tender age of four, and she has since shown remarkable progress and consistently impressive results.

Avani has transitioned from numerous junior accomplishments to conquering the senior golf arena, as evident from her remarkable performance at a recent women’s professional tour event in Chandigarh. She dominated the competition, clinching victory with an astounding 13-stroke lead over a field filled with seasoned professional golfers.

India depends upon such aspiring players to rise the name of itself by their unwavering determination and harwork , and their willingness to do something for the nation in the Asian Games.

2. Dommaraju Gukesh ( 17 Years)

The one who recently broke the record of his own idol: Viswanathan Anand, is Dommaraju Gukesh, India’s No. 1 Chess player. His Journey in chess started when he was 7 years old, and with a whole lot of effort, at the age of 17, He surpassed his own Idol. Gukesh D. was born on May 29, 2006, in the beautiful city of Chennai.

He is now officially qualified to represent India in the game of chess in the Asian Games in 2023. Gukesh’s most known success mark was becoming a Grandmaster (GM) when he was 12 years and 7 months old in January 2019.

He has also won numerous awards, including the Asian School Chess Championships in 2015, the World Youth Chess Championships in 2018, five gold medals in the Asian Youth Chess Championships in 2018, the Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour in 2021, and the Chess Olympiad in 2022.

In the 2018 Asian Youth Chess Championships, Gukesh won gold medals in the individual rapid, individual blitz, team rapid, team blitz, and individual classical events. Gukesh is a rising star in the world of chess and is sure to achieve many more great things in the years to come. Let’s Hope he brings the gold for the nation in the Asian Games this year and sets a new record!

3. Aryan Nehra (19 Years)

19 Years old, Aryan Nehra is known for his record of breaking records. Aryan Hails from Ahmedabad and become the most talked-about sensation in the realm of freestyle distance events, particularly the 800m and 1500m.

India has a talented group of swimmers in these events, motivating one another to achieve faster timings. However, Nehra’s performance in the 800m race in Hyderabad, where he recorded a remarkable time of 8:01.81, was almost flawless despite the challenging conditions of an outdoor pool, warm and humid weather, and bright sunshine.

It’s no mere chance that Nehra’s performance and timing have witnessed notable improvements, particularly within the last two years. The young athlete deliberately opted to relocate to the United States in 2021 after completing high school, with his sights set on pursuing a degree in finance at the University of Florida.

Upon his arrival in Gainesville, Nehra became part of the university’s esteemed swimming program, renowned for its track record of producing Olympic champions like Ryan Lochte, Tracy Caulkins, Conor Dwyer, and numerous other accomplished athletes.

Aryan Nehra has marked his spot for the Asian Games 2023 and is all set to break records and make the nation proud.

4. Taniksha Khatri (19 Years)

Currently ranked 57th globally and holding the esteemed title of being the nation’s No.1 epee fencer, 18-year-old Taniksha Khatri has emerged as one of India’s most promising talents in the field, poised for a future filled with remarkable achievements.

Originating from Karnal, Haryana, Taniksha has embarked on an extraordinary journey, transforming herself from relative obscurity into one of the country’s premier epee fencers over the past several years. In a sport where personal motivation, unwavering discipline, and an unrelenting work ethic are paramount, she has consistently pushed her boundaries, tirelessly striving for improvement day in and day out.

As her passion for fencing continued to intensify, Taniksha honed her skills with her dominant right hand, gradually unveiling her talents in competitive arenas. Remarkably, at the tender age of 15, she clinched her first fencing medal, marking a significant milestone in her burgeoning career. During her formative years, Taniksha credits Coach Vikas as the most influential figure, whose wealth of experience played a pivotal role in her development.

With an impressive tally of four national gold medals secured in just the past two years, this young player has already marked a distinguished spot for herself amongst her competitors, foreshadowing a bright and promising future in the world of fencing.

5. Manu Bhaker ( 21 Years )

Coming from Goria Village, Haryana district, Manu Bhaker is an aspiring shooting player. Until the age of 14, Manu Bhaker showcased her prowess in various sports, including Huyen langlon, a traditional Manipuri martial art, along with achievements in boxing, tennis, and skating. She earned medals at the national games for her outstanding performances in these disciplines.

During the qualifying round of the women’s 10m air pistol event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Bhaker tallied an impressive score of 388 out of a possible 400 points, earning her a spot in the finals. In the final showdown of the same event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Bhaker exhibited her remarkable prowess. She not only clinched the gold medal but also established a fresh Commonwealth Games record by amassing an astounding 240.9 points.

During the 2018 Asian Games, she achieved a record-breaking score of 593 in the qualification round of the 25m Air pistol event. Despite this remarkable performance, she narrowly missed out on a medal, securing a 6th-place finish in the final competition. It was her compatriot Rahi Sarnobat who ultimately claimed the Gold in this particular event.

We eagerly anticipate Bhaker’s potential to secure multiple gold medals for India in the Asian Games 2023, thanks to her unwavering dedication and boundless enthusiasm.

India relies on individuals like them to uphold its pride and honor in the Asian Games. As the Asian Games approach in 2023, Mad4India extends its heartfelt best wishes to all the exceptional athletes who have qualified. Mad4India hopes to witness them achieving not only personal glory but also bringing immense pride to the nation.

Feature Image Source – Avani Prashanth, D. Gukesh, Arnay Nehra, Taniksha Khatri, Manu Bhaker

If you loved reading this information about the Asian Games, also read about Vinesh Phogat, The First Indian Female Wrestler To Win Gold In Commonwealth and Asian Games For India

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