Asian Games 2018: India’s Track and Field Athletes Within Touching Distance of Medals

Indian athletes have bagged a hoard of medals in the first week of the ongoing Asian Games at Jakarta and Palembang. At the end of the eighth day of the Games, India stood ninth on the medal tally with Seven Golds, 10 Silvers, and 19 Bronze medals.

Athletics began on Saturday, August 25 and 53 Indian track and field athletes will compete in various competitions over the next eight days.

Traditionally, India has performed well in athletics at the Asian Games. India’s track and field athletes had won 72 Golds, 77 Silvers, and 84 Bronze medals in the previous 17 editions of the Games. While seasoned campaigners like Seema Punia, Annu Rani, and the Women’s 4×400 M relay team, among others, are expected to bring home few medals, Indian fans would want the young crop of the track and field athletes like Neeraj Chopra, Hima Das, and Dutee Chand to finish on the podium as well.

The following chart shows how Indian women on the track and field, in the 2018 Asian Games, stand compared to the 2014 Asian Games winners, the rest of Asia, and the world:

(Hover your mouse on top of any bar on the chart to get more details)

Plot 10
Plot 12

(The Higher on the Chart are India’s Season’s and Personal Best, the Better Their Chances of Winning a Medal)

In the 100 M event, Dutee Chand’s season’s best (11.29) and personal best (11.24) was well ahead of the timing clocked by the gold-medallist of the 2014 Asian Games. She was expected to win a medal in the 100 M event. She did not disappoint. Late on Sunday, August 26, Chand, in a photo finish, clocked 11.32 and bagged the Silver in the event.

Hopes were high from the recently crowned World U-20 champion, Hima Das, in the 400 M event. She met expectations of the Indian fans by winning the Silver in the event on Sunday, August 26.  

In the 200 M event, Dutee Chand and Hima Das will lead India’s medal-charge. Both Chand and Das are favourites for a podium finish. Their season’s best timings are well ahead of that of the last edition’s Bronze medallist. The qualification round and semi-final of the 200 M event will be played on Tuesday, August 28 and the final will be on Wednesday, August 29.

In field events, Seema Punia is on course to defend her Gold from Incheon in the Discuss Throw event. Her event is scheduled for Thursday, August 30.

In other competitions, Neena Pinto and Nayana James are expected to perform well in Long Jump. Though their season’s best jumps are not where they would want them to be, their personal best jumps are better than the jumps of medallists at Incheon . If they come close to their personal bests at Jakarta, they certainly will be in the reckoning for the medals.

Sudha Singh, the Gold medallist in 3000 M Steeplechase event in Guangzhou in 2010, missed out in the previous edition. However, this time she is all set and will be raring to go in her pet event. Indian fans can certainly expect a medal from her.

The Women’s 4×400 M relay team will be defending their Gold from Incheon in 2014. With a strong team in place, the Indians will be looking to better their Games record timing they set four years ago.

In the javelin throw, Annu Rani would want to better her Bronze from four years ago. If she matches her personal best throw of 61.86, she definitely will be in contention for a medal.

Expectations are high from the men’s track and field contingent too. India’s first Gold in athletics at Jakarta came on Saturday, August 25 when Tajinderpal Singh Toor bagged the Gold in Shot-Put. His best throw of 20.75 meters shattered the previous national of 20.69 set by Om Prakash Karhana. The second-placed Liu Yang from China managed a best-throw of 19.52 metre.

Here’s how the men stand compared to Asia and the world:

(Hover your mouse on top of any point on the chart to get more details)

India's Track and Field Athletes Compared to Others - Men

Source: Athletics Federation of India, IAAF, Olympic Council of Asia, Incheon Asian Games Archived Site

(The Higher on the Chart are India’s Season’s and Personal Best, the Better Their Chances of Winning a Medal)

More good news poured in from the track on Sunday, August 26 when Mohammad Anas won the Silver in the 400 M event. Anas clocked 45.69 seconds in the race. Prior to the race, Anas was a favourite to win the medal.

In the 800 M and 1500 M events, Jinson Johnson is expected to bag a podium finish. His season’s best in both the events are well-ahead of the timing clocked by the gold medallist at Incheon in 2014.

Indian fans will have great expectations from the country’s poster boy on the field, Neeraj Chopra. The young javelin thrower has impressed one and all with his recent performance in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Diamond League. He will surely hope for a podium finish in the event. Catch Neeraj Chopra in action on Monday, August 27 in the evening.

Among others, Arpinder Singh (Triple Jump), KT Irfan (20 KM Walk), Dharun Ayyasamy (400 M Hurdles), and Manjit Singh (400 M) are likely to bring home few medals.

With four medals in athletics on the first two days of the event in the Asian Games, India will hope to increase their haul, this week with several favourites in action.


(Note: All data, records, personal bests, season bests have been updated before the start of the Games.)

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