Bhubaneswar, May 20: The men’s Triple Jump and the three women’s throws events will vie for attention with the 200m sprints when big-ticket track and field competition returns to the Kalinga Stadium with the AFI Indian Grand Prix 4 here on Saturday.
The presence of Srabani Nanda and Amiya Mallick in the women’s and men’s 200m races will be of great interest to the home fans. But the spotlight could be on the Triple Jump and the women’s throws where Abha Khatua and Manpreet Kaur (Shot Put), Navjeet Kaur Dhillion (Discus Throw) and Sarita Ramit Singh (Hammer Throw) will seek the limelight.
The 31-year-old Srabani Nanda’s first National-level competition in India in nearly four years will be watched with interest. Using Kingston, Jamaica, as her training base, she has a creditable 23.68-second 200m in March 26 as her best this year. With the cream of India’s women’s sprinting talent now in Turkey, she will have to look inwards to find the pace.
There will be no such challenge at the Triple Jump pit which can produce high quality competition with Eldhose Paul, Abdulla Aboobacker, Karthik Unnikrishnan and Gauly Venister Devasahayam pushing one another. Eldhose Paul (16.99m) and Karthik Unnikrishnan (16.81), season leaders in India, will seek to showcase consistency.
Navjeet Kaur Dhillon will make her first appearance in a National-level Discus Throw competition since September 19, 2021, when she won the National Open Championships with a best effort of 54.49m. The vastly experienced Sarita Romit Singh is the only 60m-plus Hammer Thrower in the field.
The last National-level athletics competition in Bhubaneswar was the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in 2018 a year after the majestic Kalinga Stadium hosted the Asian Athletics Championships. Competitions on Saturday begin with men’s Pole Vault at 5.00 p.m. and conclude with the men and women’s 5000m events.