With the Asiad, CWG and World Championships lined up, athletes will be looking to put their best foot forward.
Shared News: April 2, 2022 8:55:07 am
Sreeshankar Murali in action. (AFI)
The Federation Cup, the first major meet of this year’s busy athletics season, begins today. With the Asiad, CWG and World Championships lined up, athletes will be looking to put their best foot forward. Here’s a quick look at what the five-day meet offers.
Battle of the 8m club (Men’s long jump)
With Jeswin Aldrin breaching the 8m-barrier recently at the Indian Grand Prix, India has now three active jumpers who can leap beyond this mark. National record holder Sreeshankar Murali (PB 8.26m) is back in form after the Olympics debacle and is favourite to take home the gold. But he will be fiercely challenged by the other two members of the 8m club – Mohammed Anees (8.15m) and Jeswin (8.20m PB).
Spotlight on Amlan (men’s 200m)
Amlan Borgohain came into the limelight last year after winning the national title with the fifth-best time by an Indian (20.75s). The Cristiano Ronaldo superfan won the 200m gold with a 21.39s run at the first leg of the Indian Grand Prix. The Fed Cup has 24 entries in the event but Amlan is the favourite to take home the gold medal.
Jacob 2.0 (Men’s 400m)
Amoj Jacob is one of the most improved quarter milers in the country at the moment. The 23-year-old, who ran the fastest leg of India’s 4x400m Asian record-breaking run at the Tokyo Olympics, will be one athlete to watch out for. Mohammed Anas, the national record holder in 200 and 400m, will not be taking part in the event due to injury. Amoj will, however, be pushed by campmates like seasoned Arokia Rajiv, and Noah Nirmal Tom.
Jinson back in action (men’s 1500m)
An injury in 2019 and a bout with COVID last year, forced Jinson Johson to take a long break from competition. The roadblocks also derailed the hopes of the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist’s hopes of making the cut for Tokyo. This will be Jinson’s first competition since the 2019 World Military Games held in October 2019.
The new crop (men’s triple jump)
Three triple Jumpers Eldhose Paul, Karthik Unnikrishnan and Abdulla Aboobacker had met AFI’s qualification standards for the CWG (16.65m) and Asian Games (16.56m) at the jump nationals in March. But due to a goof-up by organisers, the wind measuring apparatus never reached the stadium, robbing athletes of precious points in the world ranking system. Jumpers Eldhose and Aboobacker have been performing consistently, ending on the podium in almost all the national meets in the last few years. Eldhose’s 16.93m (without wind reading) in March is the third-best attempt by an Indian. All the podium finishers at the jump nationals, including Eldhose, had better distances than Arpinder Singh’s 2018 Asian Games gold-winning effort of 16.77m.
Dutee, Hima duel (women’s 100m)
The country’s best-known runners Hima Das and Dutee Chand have hit a rough patch in the last few years. Das since switching to sprints from 400m has not been able to yield any solid performance so far. Both athletes failed to even qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and would be eager to silence their doubters.
No stopping Priya (200m)
Priya Mohan has been one of the best performing athletes this year. The Karnataka youngster recently pipped a three-time Asian Games gold medallist (400 and 4X400m relay) for the top spot at the Indian Grand Prix. She also recorded her personal best of 52.37s in the process. Interestingly, Priya won’t be taking part in the 400m as per the entry list but will run against Hima Das for the 200m title.