Avtar Singh: Avtar Singh, who hails from Gurdaspur in Punjab, is presently working as an assistant sub inspector for Punjab Police. 24-year- old athlete is the first Indian judoka to make the cut for the Rio Games. Coming from a middle-class family, Avtar often had to pull out from tournaments due to lack of requisite funding. For participating in Turkey Grand Prix event his parents gave him their life savings to allow him to pay for tickets to travel to Turkey. At the 2016 South Asian Games, Singh won a gold medal defeating Sanjay Maharjan, Mohammad Jahangir Alam and Mohammad Kakar. After participating in just five events Singh has improved his world ranking from below 200th up to 79th and made all to believe in his game skills- including those having not seen capabilities in him.
India’s first judoka, Avtar, had no organizational support to back him up as, The Judo Federation of India (JFI) was derecognised over improper election procedure and its non-compliance to the National Sports Development Code. Therefore, Avtar could barely attend any tournaments. The fact that he garnered enough points and qualified despite his dearth of event participation is impressive in itself.
Career highlights: Avtar won a gold in South Asian Games held in Shillong in February and a bronze medal in Asian Junior Judo Championships in 2011.
Qualifying event: Qualified for the Rio Olympic under the continental quota as he improved his world ranking from below 200th to 79th.
Event: Avtar will represent India at the Rio 2016 Olympics in Judo- Men’s 90 kg (Half-Heavyweight category)