Bannihatti (Ballari), February 28: National Record holding Shot Putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor and Karanveer Singh, who won gold and silver medals respectively in the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Nur-Sultan earlier this month, will be the star attractions in the second AFI National Throws Competition at the Inspire Institute of Sports here tomorrow.
At the start of the outdoor season leading to the World Athletics Championships and the Asian Games, 28-year-old Tajinderpal Singh Toor will be hoping to find the form that makes him a formidable competitor at the Asian level. He will be keen to make a mark in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August.
Indian Athletics stayed on the growth trajectory last year, with Tokyo2020 Champion Neeraj Chopra winning the World Athletics Championships Javelin Throw silver and the Diamond League Trophy. Besides, Indian Track and Field athletes came back from the Commonwealth Games with eight medals.
Besides winning eight medals in the Asian Indoor Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, there has been some good news for Indian athletics this season with walkers qualifying for the World Athletics Championships and the Olympic Games, marathon runners attaining qualifying standard for the Asian Games.
Tajinderpal Singh Toor leads the all-time Indian Shot Put list with 21.49m record that he set in Patiala in June 2021 while Karanveer Singh will want to rise from the eighth spot on that list which he achieved with a 20.10m performance in Bengaluru last year. Indrajeet Singh and Sahib Singh will want to ensure that the Shot Put competition is not a two-horse race.
Manpreet Kaur, the only Indian to breach the 18m mark in women’s Shot Put, and Manju Bala in women’s Hammer Throw are among the athletes whose performances will be watched with more than casual interest. Both topped the Indian lists in their respective events last year and will want to resume their domination.
The field in Triple Jump in the second AFI National Jumps Competition on Thursday promises to make it the most hotly-contested of the 16 events over the two days when top-level athletics is hosted for the first time in the JSW-funded High Performance Training Centre in this town, located an hour away from Ballari
With Eldhose Paul, Abdulla Aboobacker, Praveen Chithravel and Karthik Unnikrishnan in the fray, the Triple Jump can be a cracker of a contest, setting the tone for the rest of the season. Eldhose Paul and Abdulla Aboobacker captured the imagination of India’s sports fans by winning gold and silver at the Commonwealth Games last year but the other two are snapping their heels.
In M Sreeshankar’s absence, Asian Indoor Championships silver medalist Jeswin Aldrin and Muhammed Anees Yahiya will battle it out for men’s Long Jump honours.