Harpal Singh Bedi
Thiruvananthapuram: Top sprinters of the country will headline the Indian Grand Prix 1 Athletics Meet at the Chandrasekharan Nair Police Stadium here on Sunday.
They will showcase early form in the season that will see major competitions like World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Asian games.
A total of 90 athletes, including 30 women, will compete in 14 events. Ajay Kumar Saroj (men’s 1500m), Abhishek Pal (Men’s 5000m), Karanveer Singh (men’s Shot Put), Lili Das (women’s 1500m) and Sharmila Kumari (women’s Javelin Throw) will have to deal with the pressure of going into their events as favourites.
Amoj Jacob, Noah Nirmal Tom and Arokia Rajiv, who were part of the Indian 4x400m team that set the Asian Record in the Olympics , as well as Amlan Borgogain and Nalubothu Srinivas will all be in action.
While Amoj Jacob and Noah Nirmal Tom will spearhead the 400m race, the others will battle it out in the 200m sprint.
Similarly, Hima Das, S Dhanalakshmi and AT Daneshwari will make the women’s 200m an event to watch while Priya H. Mohan, MR Poovamma and Dandi Jyothika Sri can make for very competitive 400m contest at the start of the season in which the sprinters will try to overcomethe disappointment of the women’s team not making it to the Olympics..
Long Jumper M Sreeshankar will give himself a shot at consistency in competition before he heads to Belgrade for the World Athletics Indoor Championships. He will be pushed by the likes of Mohammad Anees Yahiya, who was second in the National Open Jumps Competition by only 2cm, Yugant Shekhar Singh and Triple Jumpers Eldhose Paul and Praveen Chitravel.
The other men’s event that can see tight competition would be the Javelin Throw where Rohjt Yadav and Sahil Silwal will vie for honours.
The women’s Long Jump pit may see another keen battle featuring Ancy Sojan, Nayana James and Pooja Saini while Abha Khatua and Manpreet Kaur will resume their tussle for supremacy in the women’s Shot Put event. Kavita Yadav and Chatru Gumnaram will have to draw from one another in the women’s 5000m to produce a good time.