The last week of February has a slew of action for some of India’s biggest champions, as the likes of Mirabai Chanu, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia return to the international arena after the Tokyo Olympics.
With an eye on the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, both Mirabai and Vinesh will be looking to adapt to their new weight categories.
Wrestling (Feb 24-27)
India’s premier wrestlers will be in action at the Yasar Dogu Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey from February 24 to February 27. This ‘1st Ranking Series’ event will see the likes of Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia and Vinesh Phogat in action. The Istanbul event will mark the comeback of the former world no 1, who aims to continue her comeback trail subsequently at the Asian championships, followed by the CWG and Asian Games.
Basketball (Feb 24-28)
The Indian men’s basketball team begin their attempt to qualify for the 2023 World Cup at the Asian Qualifiers in Manila, Philippines. They will play four of six group matches in February.
They have two matches against New Zealand (February 24 and 28) and matches against Philippines (February 25) and South Korea (February 27).
Weightlifting (Feb 25-27)
Olympic silver medallist Mirabai Chanu will return to action at the Singapore International from February 25 to February 27. Featuring the best Indian weightlifters, this event will see Mirabai headlining the team again 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 have decided to push her weight class from 49kg to 55kgs for strategic reasons.
Hockey (Feb 26-27)
The Indian men’s and women’s teams will play their first matches of the Hockey Pro League at home in Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium this week. Both the teams will be taking on Spain in two-leg ties on February 26 and 27.
Shooting (Feb 26-Mar 8)
India’s best shooters will also be returning to the international arena at the Rifle/Pistol World Cup in Cairo, Egypt from 26 February to 8 March.
A 24-member Indian team has been named for the season’s first World Cup for pistol and rifle shooters. Some big names like Manu Bhaker, Abhishek Verma, Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil, Elavaneil Valarivan, Deepak Kumar, Tejaswini Sawant and Yashaswini Singh Deswal have missed out from the team, with the team formed based on scores in the recent national tournaments.
Boxing (Feb 19-28)
India’s boxers like Nikhat Zareen continue their campaign at the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria. The Indian team for the World Championships will be decided based on trials held after this event.
Rowing (Feb 25-26)
India’s best rowers will be looking to make creditable finishes at the Rowing World Indoor Championships in Hamburg, Germany over two days. Parminder Singh created a new record at this event last year by finishing 6th in the U-23 category.
Table Tennis (Feb 27- Mar 5)
The pair of Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra, who recently broke into the top 10 world rankings for mixed doubles, will be in action at the WTT Contender in Muscat, Oman from February 27.
Cricket (Feb 22-27)
The Indian women’s team play the final two matches of their ODI series vs New Zealand on February 22 and February 24 as their last assignment before the World Cup in March.
The men’s team will host Sri Lanka for a T20I series between February 24 and February 27.