After the excessive on the Jakarta Asian Games ultimate 12 months, while the united states received 19 medals consisting of seven gold and 10 silver, one gets the atypical feeling that Indian athletics is unexpectedly down as it travels to Doha for the Asian Championships which starts offevolved on Sunday.
The big names lacking are World No. Four javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, 800m runner Manjit Singh – each with accidents – and triple jumper Arpinder Singh, who failed to qualify. All of them have been gold medalists at the Asian Games.
Also lacking out because of injury is quarter-miler A. Dharun, who has been on a countrywide record-breaking spree in the hurdles, even as different Asiad silver medallists, steeple-chaser Sudha Singh, and lengthy jumper Neena Pinto, have been nowhere close to their Asian Games shape.
Tamil Nadu distance runner G. Lakshmanan, the ultimate Asians’ large famous person in Bhubaneswar with a golden 5000-10,000m double, couldn’t even end the various medals in remaining month’s Federation Cup, the Asians’ essential qualification meet.
“It’s certainly difficult, you experience such as you’ve reached a certain level and all of the sudden collapse,” Dharun, who has a shin bone strain fracture, informed Sportster from his home near Coimbatore on Friday.
Dharun, who might be out of the movement for three months, turned into just talking of his plight but it is able to additionally sum up Indian athletics’ cutting-edge scenario.
After the Jakarta Asian Games, the Athletics Federation of India’s President Adille Sumariwalla had boldly proclaimed that India was an Asian superpower and now had to cognizance on the Olympics and the Worlds. And as a few large names fumbled in recent meets, the national federation maintained that the Asians were not important.
With names like Neeraj Chopra, M. Sreeshankar, Tejaswin Shankar and Hima Das, India actually has athletes who should do properly in next yr’s Tokyo Olympics and in Paris 2024 however by letting the Asian possibility slip, the federation has probably pulled out some rungs from the long ladder that would take the united states to the top.
Bahadur Singh, the leader country wide educate, did no longer sound very high quality as he spoke approximately the country’s gold medal chances in Doha.
“Don’t ask me in particular approximately gold due to the fact that is a duration (early season) while no person can be sure who will finish first or 2d. But our medal tally will be something like 20, like within the Asiad, plus or minus two,” he said.
“We will truly win gold medals, our relay teams are strong, we are sturdy in the shot put (Tajinder Pal Singh Toor) too. If there are no golds, they will be silver but the possibilities are properly that we can get gold,” he added.
But have the preparations been exact? “From our side, from the SAI and federation’s aspect, the arrangements were right however if your athletes are on leave often, going for awards and prize-money features, that isn’t always very encouraging,” stated Bahadur.
“Hima Das became away (from the camp) for 40 days, she has given checks and different matters as reasons,” he delivered.
But the conditions have been additionally not ideal for the athletes. “The new blue tune in Patiala (the Federation Cup venue) could be very difficult,” said Dharun, who becomes no longer the handiest athlete to complain approximately it.
“And our education track is uneven, in some spots it’s far bulging as if there are air bubbles interior, you don’t get much grip on that. Maybe, that would also be a purpose (for his harm returning),” he added.
With Doha web hosting the Worlds in September and the Tokyo Olympics coming up subsequent 12 months, truly there is a lot to be performed.