Patiala. Arpinder Singh, Asian Games gold medallist and the first Indian to win a medal at the IAAF Inter-continental Cup, will be the leading contender in the Men’s Triple Jump heats at the 23rd Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships to be held at the National Institute of Sport, Patiala from March 15-18, 2019.
Neena Pinto will start the favorite in the women’s Long Jump section. The Asian Games silver medallist will be joined by last year’s Fed Cup gold medallist Nayana James.
In the absence of Asian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Neeraj Chopra, the Javelin throw men’s category is set for an interesting four-way battle. Sahil Silwal, Vipin Kassana, Shivpal Singh and the returning Davinder Singh Kang should make it an event worth following. In the women’s section, national record holder Annu Rani will be the overwhelming pick for the gold medal.
Reigning Asian champion Swapna Barman will be in action in the Heptathlon. The 22-year-old from Jalpaiguri is expected to break the 6000-point barrier once again but Odisha’s Purnima Hembram is expected to push Barman all the way.
The men’s High Jump field will be a depleted one in the absence of last year’s gold and silver medallists. NCAA champion and NR holder Tejaswin Shankar is absent, as is the 2018 Fed Cup silver medallist Siddharth Yadav. Balasubramanya Chethan, who represented India at the Asian Games in Jakarta, will be the athlete to watch out for in this section.
In the Hammer Throw competition, junior National Record holder Ashish Jakhar is expected to bring home the gold medal.
S Siva, the national record holder in Pole Vault, will be back to defend his crown in Patiala. The 22-year-old set his previous record of 5.15 metres last year in Patiala.