Asian Games starts at Jakarta,Indonesia in less than a week from now. India have named a total of 572 athletes for a quadrennial event.India finished 8th overall in last edition in Incheon.
Athletics is considered as mother of all sports.Let us have a look at India’s chances in track and field.
In 2014 we won 13 medals in athletics including 2 golds,3 silver and 8 bronze.This time we have strong chance of bettering last Asiad medals tally as we have depth in our athletics contingent.A couple of stars have emerged this year in athletics.
Firstly javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will be flagbearer of our contingent at the opening ceremony.Neeraj won historic gold at CWG in Gold Coast with a throw of 86.47m.Besides 20 year old junior world record holder has qualified for Diamond League finals in Zurich which will be held just 3 days after his scheduled event in Jakarta.Neeraj will be hot favourite for gold medal at Asian Games.
Hima Das created history too by becoming the first Indian track athlete to win gold medal when she topped at World under 20 Ahletics Championships in Finland last month.Teenager who became overnight star after her feat will be a strong bet for gold in 400m in Asian Games as well.Hima will also be competing with controversial sprinter Dutee Chand in 200m also at Asiad.Out of form Tintu Luka will run 800m.
Seasoned discuss thrower Seema Punia who has won at least a medal in all of the 4 Commonwealth Games she took part in,will be looking for her second gold medal after 2014 Incheon Games where she bagged the yellow metal.Arpinder Singh,triple jumper finished creditable 4th at CWG with 17.17m.
He will be aiming for at least a medal in Asiad.Mohammad Anas missed out on a medal by a whisker in Commonwealth Games this year as he finished fourth in 400m.Anas is also a big medal hope for India in track.Olympian Jinson Johnson finished good fifth at CWG in 1500m.Last month he broke 42 year old oldest record of Sriram in Indian Athletics by clocking 45.65s in 800m at Inter State Senior Athletics Championships.Johnson will run in both 800 and 1500m in Jakarta.
Sudha Singh in 3000m steeplechase and Manish Singh Rawat in 20km Racewalk are medal hopes for India.
Athletics events will be held from 25th to 30th August 2018.