New Delhi: India on Sunday named its largest ever team of 19 athletes to take part in the IAAF World Youth Championships starting at Lille, France from July 6.
Durgesh Kumar Pal, silver medallist in 400m hurdles at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore last year, will lead the squad, consisting of 15 boys and four girls.
The present squad surpasses the earlier largest number of 13 in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2005.
Durgesh, who has a personal best of 50.89s in Singapore, clocked 51.49 while winning the National Youth Championships at Ranchi in May. The 51.49 effort is the season`s second fastest time for 400m hurdles behind Christiaan Mouton of South Africa, who holds the world youth lead with a 51.24 since March.
With the Youth Olympics Games victor Norge Sotomayor of Cuba graduated to the junior division, Mouton will be the main challenger to Pal for the top spot.
India will also pin its hope on distance runner Indrajeet Patel, another Youth Olympic finalist in 3000m with a career best of 8:15.02. Shot putter Navtejdeep Singh (19.34m) and Hammer thrower Ali Ahmed (64.34m) are other key members of the team.
Boys: Jijin Vijayan (100m), Jatin Jain (200m, 400m), Sandeep (400m), Harish Koranga (1500m), Indrajeet Patel (3000m), Rajendra Bind (2000m steeplechase), Amit Kumar Singh (110m hurdles), Durgesh Kumar Pal (400m hurdles), Anburaja (long jump), Sandeep Singh (triple jump), Navtejdeep Singh (shot put), Sachin Singh (discus throw), Ali Ahmed (hammer throw), Naveen Kumar (javelin throw), Kuldeep (10000m walk).
Girls: Sunanda Sarkar (100m, 200m), Archana Suseendran (200m), Priyanka Mondal (400m), Navjeet Kaur (discus throw).