CWG 2014: Little chance for Indian track and field stars to replicate 2010 show

Glasgow: Lacking in preparation and with most of their top stars struggling, India may find it hard to match up their 2010 show when the track and field events of the 20th edition of Commonwealth Games kickstart here on Sunday.

India had won 12 medals, including two gold, in Delhi but they are set to lose out on medals this time around as they have come to Scotland woefully short on exposure. Even the most positive are not predicting more than four medals.

Only a handful of athletes, including defending discus throw champion Krishna Poonia and Seema Punia, have got the chance for training-cum-exposure trips outside the country and they were well short of their personal best in those events.

Except for US-based men`s discus thrower Vikas Gowda, none had done anything noteworthy. Gowda, himself had not been consistent in the major international events.

The 32-member strong Indian team`s medal chances will hinge on the likes of defending women`s discus throw champion Krishna Poonia and Gowda (men`s discus throw) and young Arpinder Singh (men`s triple jump).

Women`s 4x400m relay quartet has an outside chance for a medal while women`s discus may give another medal with Seema Punia in a field which has very few world-class competitors.
The Indians begin their campaign with men`s shot put qualifying round tomorrow as Om Prakash Singh Karhana will take guard. Om Prakash holds the national record of 20.69m but he has struggled in the last couple of years and his season`s best is 19.74m.

The other events, Sharadha Narayana (women`s 100m heats and Machettira Poovamma (400m heats) will be on the track. The two may qualify for the semifinals but making it to the finals may just be out of sight.

Indian team head coach Bahadur Singh told PTI that he would be happy if the athletes could come up even with their season`s best.

"I don`t predict how many medals we will win or who will win. I will be happy if each of the athletes come up with their season`s best. We hope to do well but it all depends on the day of performance," said Bahadur, who before leaving for Glasgow had said that "CWG is a different ball game".

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