Hima Das leads 31 strong contingent to Junior World Championships

New Delhi. Tipped to bring back an elusive track medal for the country at the World Junior Championships, quarter miler Hima Das will be leading a squad of 31 Indian athletes – 21 men and 10 women — to the IAAF U20 World Junior Championships to be held in the Finnish city of Tampere between 10th and 15th of July 2018.

The 18-year-old Das, has been going from strength to strength ever since she first broke into the national scene with a pair of medals at the Indian U-18 Youth Nationals in February 2018. Although Das had won just a silver and bronze in that tournament, she has made a name for herself as the fastest active athlete over the 200 and 400m in India. The athlete from Dhing village in Assam has even made a mark in international competition with an impressive sixth place finish in the 400m event at the Commonwealth Games in April this year. Das is in red hot form heading into the competition in Finland, having won the 400m title at the Inter State Athletics Championships in Guwahati last month.

Her winning time of 51.13 seconds makes her one of the form favourites for the Junior Worlds with only one other athlete – USA’s Sydney McLaughlin – having recorded a faster time this year.

Das is not the only athlete who will be expecting to compete for medals at the World Championships. Among the men, junior national record holder M Sreeshankar would be carrying the most responsibility. The long jumper’s personal best of 7.99m set at the Federation Cup in March this year is the fourth best jump by a Junior athlete this year. However, Sreeshankar suffered a setback when he suffered a severe case of appendicitis shortly after his record-breaking jump in Patiala. The Kerala athlete however has managed to regain some of his lost form winning a bronze medal at the Asian Junior Championships in Gifu last month with an effort of 7.47m. Sreeshankar will have company in Tampere as compatriot Satyanathan Lokesh has also been named to the squad. Lokesh goes into the competition in 11th place amongst junior athletes this season with a season’s best of 7.74m recorded at the South Asian Junior Championships in May.

Also looking to carry on some form from the Asian Junior championships would be the hammer throw pair of Ashish Jhakar and Damneet Singh who took first and second place at the tournament in Gifu last month. Jhakhar’s throw of 76.86m places him sixth amongst junior athletes this season while Singh’s season’s best of 74.08 places him eleventh. Despite a slightly shorter throw, Singh would be carrying a bit of confidence of competing and winning at the international level, having clinched a silver medal at the World Youth Championships in Nairobi last year.

Competing under a bit of pressure would be javelin thrower Sahil Silwal. The 18-year-old has big shoes to fill. He will be looking to emulate senior compatriot Neeraj Chopra, who at the 2016 edition of the tournament in Bydgoszcz, set a new junior world record with a throw of 86.48m to became the first Indian to win a gold medal at an IAAF world event.

Silwal’s best is 74.88m that he recorded last month in Kuortane Motonet GP in Finland. The mark places him fifth amongst junior javelin throwers. However, Silwal’s coach Uwe Hohn has tipped the youngster to cross the 80m mark soon and Tampere would be as good a tournament as any to create a new personal best.

Heading into the competition full of confidence would be middle distance runner Beant Singh. Marked out for success at an early age following a silver medal in the 800m at the Open Nationals in 2014 and then a gold medal at the Asian Youth Championships the following year, Beant suffered a series of injuries that caused his career to falter. An exit in the heats at the 2016 Junior World championships in a sub-par time of 1:51.73 seconds was a particular low point. The Haryana athlete though has found some momentum once again clocking 1:46.92 seconds in a fourth-place finish at last month’s Inter State Championships. That timing is the seventh fastest in amongst junior athletes this year.

IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018, Tampere 2018

INDIA TEAM

400 METRES MEN

306109Gaurav Gaurav30 Jun 1999
PB46.9321 Apr 2018 Coimbatore (IND)
SB46.9321 Apr 2018 Coimbatore (IND)
QB46.9321 Apr 2018 Coimbatore (IND)

800 METRES MEN

295516Beant Singh10 Jun 1999
PB1:48.5006 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)
SB1:48.5006 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)
QB1:48.5006 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)

1500 METRES MEN

377866Ankit01 Dec 1999
PB3.47.0908 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)
SB3.47.0908 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)
QB3.47.0908 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)

10000 METRES MEN

419445Kartik Kumar12 May 1999
PB30:05.3008 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)
SB30:05.3008 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)
QB30:05.3008 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)

LONG JUMP MEN

313895S.Lokesh21 Dec 1999
PB7.7405 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
SB7.7405 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
QB7.7405 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
306116Sreeshankar M27 Mar 1999
PB7.9906 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)
SB7.9906 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)
QB7.9906 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)

TRIPLE JUMP MEN

314890K Kamalraj03 Oct 1999
PB16.4120 Nov 2017 Mangalagiri
SB15.9606 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
QB16.4120 Nov 2017 Mangalagiri

SHOT PUT (6KG) MEN

322556Ashish Bholothia11 Nov 1999
PB18.5306 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
SB18.5306 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
QB18.5306 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)

HAMMER THROW (6KG) MEN

295724Ashish Jakhar05 Jan 1999
PB76.8607 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)
SB76.8607 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)
QB76.8607 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)
310856Damneet singh03 Oct 2000
PB74.0807 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)
SB74.0807 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)
QB74.0807 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)

JAVELIN THROW MEN

314899Sahil Silwal17 Dec 2000
PB74.8823 Jun 2018 Kuortane (FIN)
SB74.8823 Jun 2018 Kuortane (FIN)
QB74.8823 Jun 2018 Kuortane (FIN)
307743Arshdeep Singh05 Apr 1999
PB71.4705 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
SB71.4705 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
QB71.4705 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)

4X100 METRES MEN

401829Akash Kumar01 Jan 1999
401818Prajwal Mandanna02 Feb 1999
401826Scidanandh Nithin04 Dec 1999
401821PS Saneesh12 Mar 1999
315611Gurindervir Singh24 Dec 2000

4X400 METRES MEN

401830Stanley Cibbinkumar10 Feb 2000
322712Ayush Dabas28 Sep 1999
306109Gaurav Gaurav30 Jun 1999
401833Devender Kumar25 Dec 1999
401839Rajesh Ramesh28 Aug 1999

400 METRES WOMEN

319678Hima Das09 Jan 2000
PB51.3211 Apr 2018 Gold Coast (Carrara Stadium)
SB51.3211 Apr 2018 Gold Coast (Carrara Stadium)
QB51.3211 Apr 2018 Gold Coast (Carrara Stadium)
295855Jishna Mathew07 Jan 1999
PB52.6515 May 2017 New Delhi (Nehru)
SB52.6507 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)
QB52.6507 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)

1500 METRES WOMEN

298882Durga Pramod Deore08 Jun 1999
PB4:23.4508 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)
SB4:23.4508 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)
QB4:23.4508 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)

100 METRES HURDLES WOMEN

322901Sapna Kumari1999
PB13.6108 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)
SB13.6108 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)
QB13.6108 Mar 2018 Patiala (IND)

TRIPLE JUMP WOMEN

310991Suresh Priyadarshini13 Aug 1999
PB13.0707 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)
SB13.0707 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)
QB13.0707 Jun 2018 Gifu (JPN)

DISCUS THROW WOMEN

408450M.Karuniya2000
PB48.5806 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
SB48.5806 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
QB48.5806 May 2018 Colombo (SRI)
306114Arpandeep Kaur15 Jan 1999
PB49.5621 Apr 2018 Coimbatore (IND)
SB49.5621 Apr 2018 Coimbatore (IND)
QB49.5621 Apr 2018 Coimbatore (IND)

4X400 METRES WOMEN

319678Hima Das09 Jan 2000
295855Jishna Mathew07 Jan 1999
401929Rachna03 Jul 2000
401943Ritika18 Jan 2001
306098V Subha31 Aug 1999