Anirban Lahiri is on a tough path to qualify for the Paris Olympics

Anirban Lahiri

Anirban Lahiri, one of India’s most accomplished golfers, is facing a significant challenge in his quest to participate in the Paris Olympics 2024. Lahiri, who has represented India in the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is currently ranked 401st in the world. His decision to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour in 2022, which does not grant world ranking points, has put his Olympic dreams in jeopardy.

Why is it tough for Anirban Lahiri to make it Paris Olympics?

The Olympic field is restricted to 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s golf competitions. The top 15 world-ranked players will be eligible for the Olympics, with a limit of four players from a given country. Beyond the top 15, players will be eligible based on the world rankings, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top 15.

As of now, Shubhankar Sharma (World No. 188) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (World No. 247) seem the frontrunners for representing India in the Olympics.

Lahiri’s decision to join the LIV Golf Tour was influenced by factors such as financial security, a fixed schedule, and work-life balance. However, this move has come at the cost of missing out on crucial world ranking points, which are essential for qualifying for major championships as well as the Olympic Games. Despite the challenges, Lahiri remains optimistic and is determined to make the most of the few opportunities he has.

One such opportunity presents itself at the 2024 Hero Indian Open in Gurugram, where Lahiri has been approved by the DP World Tour to play in the country’s national open. Despite the hiccup in his push to make it to Paris, Lahiri asserted he had no regrets about the move to LIV. He later confirmed that the few playing opportunities he will have before the cut-off deadline for the Olympics in June will be in Asian Tour events, where even fewer ranking points are on offer.

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