Athletics
Asian Games 2023: India’s gold medal prospects in athletics

Asian Games 2023: India’s gold medal prospects in athletics

In the last edition, India had won eight gold medals in athletics, and would like to better that tally at Asian Games 2023.

Ever since the first edition of the Asian Games in New Delhi way back in 1951, athletics has been India’s most successful sport at the continental event. We have 79 gold medals, followed by 88 silver, and 87 bronze at the Asian Games in the track & field events. This year too, at the Asian Games 2023, India will look to dominate athletics and increase their medal haul. We have a strong team of 65 athletes, who should better their medal tally from 2018.

Asian Games 2018

Athletics had fetched India 20 medals overall, with eight golds. The most notable were the performances of Neeraj Chopra and Tajinderpal Singh Toor, who won golds. The duo are in the squad for the Asian Games 2023 as well, and nothing short of a gold is expected from them once again. But the most memorable performance came from heptathlete Swapna Barman, who against all odds became the Asian champion.

Avinash Sable (3000m steeplechase)

The runner from Maharashtra has managed to make a name for himself in an event dominated by the Africans. He rose to prominence after winning the CWG silver medal, and there is no reason why he can’t go a step better at the Asian Games. This year, he has the second-best timing of 8.11:63s, after Japanese Ryuji Miura, and can topple the latter for the gold medal.

Neeraj Chopra (Javelin)

Neeraj Chopra will be looking for his second gold at Asian Games 2023.
Neeraj Chopra will be looking for his second gold at Asian Games 2023.

Chopra will, as always, be in contention for the gold medal in the javelin throw. But he is likely to face stiff competition from Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan, who had won the Commonwealth Games last year. Even though Neeraj is more consistent, Arshad has already crossed the 90m barrier, and the Indian is yet to do so.

Murali Sreeshankar and Jeswin Aldrin (Long jump)

These two form the most formidable duo in the long jump, in Asia. Period. Aldrin had created the national record this year with a jump of 8.42m, and Sreeshankar achieved almost the same distance soon after. If all goes well, either of them could bring the gold medal for India.

Jyothi Yarraji (100m hurdles)

There is no chasing Yarraji in this event. She is one of the finest sprinters in the country at the moment and has the second-best time in Asia this year (12.78s). If she goes close to her personal best effort or surpasses it, she will win a gold medal for sure. She is not likely to face a lot of competition in the field as well.

Shaili Singh (Long jump)

Shaili Singh has a good chance of winning the Asian Games gold.
Shaili Singh has a good chance of winning the Asian Games gold.

The youngster is one future star to watch out for. She has already leaped a distance of 6.76m, which is the second-best distance this year by an Asian. Only Japan’s Sumire Hata went close to 7m this year, but Shaili still remains in the gold medal contention. Hopefully, she can break the long-standing national record of Anju Bobby George at the Asian Games 2023.

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