Doha (Qatar), World’s top athletes will aim to dish out a spirited show when the World Athletics Championship kicks-off from Friday. For India, the event hasn’t been too fruitful as only Anju Bobby George had managed a medal in long jump at the 2003 edition of the Games in Paris. However, a lot will be expected from ace sprinter Dutee Chand and middle-distance runner Jinson Johnson this time round.
Dutee had a dream outing at the World University Championship where she bagged a gold following which the IAAF had invited her to join the Indian team. Dutee will once again feature in the 100 metre event and looking at her form in the recent past, a medal could be expected from her.
India had also suffered a jolt when Neeraj Chopra and Hima Das had to skip the event due to injury. While javelin thrower Neeraj is not taking part as he has been doing light training since May, having undergone elbow surgery, Hima pulled out due to a lower back injury after being named in the initial team.
In Neeraj’s absence, all eyes will be on another javelin thrower Shivpal Singh while Annu Rani will lead in the women category of the discipline. Meanwhile, Tejaswin Shankar has also decided to give the event a miss, which is another blow for India.
In such a scenario, Asian Games gold medalist Johnson is expected to bring some smiles on the Indians’ faces. He is currently training with his coach in USA. Long jumper M. Sreeshankar, who has recovered from an injury, will also try to deliver his best. In the National Open Championship last year, Sreeshankar had registered a national record after a jump of 8.11 and 8.20 metre.
In the 4×400 m relay and mixed relay events, Mohammad Anas, Noh Nirmal, Alex Antony, Harsh Kumar, Amoj Jacob, K.S. Jeevan and Dharun Ayyasamy will lead the Indian challenge. On the other hand in shot put event, Tejinderpal Singh Toor, who had clinched gold in the Asian Games, can also be considered as a medal prospect for India.