Mirabai Chanu and Vinesh Phogat return to action
The last week of February was action-packed for some of India’s greatest champions, such as Mirabai Chanu, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia returning to the international stage after the Tokyo Olympics.
In preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Mirabai and Vinesh will be looking to adjust to their new weight classes.
Wrestling (February 24-27)
India’s top wrestlers will be in action at the Yasar Dogu tournament in Istanbul, Turkey from February 24-27. This ‘1st Ranking Series’ event will see Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia and Vinesh Phogat in action. The Istanbul event will mark the return of the former world No. 1, who aims to continue her return to the Asian Championships, followed by the CWG and the Asian Games.
Basketball (February 24-28)
The Indian men’s basketball team begins their attempt to qualify for the 2023 World Cup at the Asian qualifiers in Manila, Philippines. They will play four of the six group matches in February.
They have two matches against New Zealand (February 24 and 28) and matches against the Philippines (February 25) and South Korea (February 27).
Weightlifting (February 25-27)
Olympic silver medalist Mirabai Chanu will return to action at the Singapore International from February 25-27. Featuring India’s top weightlifters, this event will see Mirabai once again headline the team after skipping the world championships late last year.
Mirabai is also set to compete in a new weight class at this tournament as she prepares for the CWG and Asian Games. The Indian team decided to increase their weight category from 49 kg to 55 kg for strategic reasons.
Hockey (February 26-27)
India’s men’s and women’s teams will play their first home Hockey Pro League matches at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar this week. The two teams will face Spain in home and away matches on February 26 and 27.
Shooting (February 26-March 8)
India’s top shooters will also be back on the international stage at the Rifle/Pistol World Cup in Cairo, Egypt from February 26 to March 8.
A 24-member team from India has been named for the first World Pistol and Rifle Shooting Cup of the season. Some big names like Manu Bhaker, Abhishek Verma, Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil, Elavaneil Valarivan, Deepak Kumar, Tejaswini Sawant and Yashaswini Singh Deswal have been absent from the squad as the team is formed based on scores from recent national tournaments .
Boxing (February 19-28)
Indian boxers like Nikhat Zareen continue their campaign at the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria. India’s squad for the World Championships will be determined based on trials held after this event.
Rowing (February 25-26)
India’s top rowers will be looking to make honorable finishes at the World Rowing Indoor Championships in Hamburg, Germany over two days. Parminder Singh set a new record at this event last year by finishing 6th in the U-23 category.
Table Tennis (February 27 – March 5)
The pair Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra, who recently broke into the world top 10 in mixed doubles, will be in action at WTT Contender in Muscat, Oman, from February 27.
Cricket (February 22-27)
The Indian women’s team will play the final two games of their ODI series against New Zealand on February 22-24 in their last posting before the World Cup in March.
The men’s team will host Sri Lanka for a T20I series between February 24-27.