Over 300 athletes to take part in Asian Grand Prix
Chennai: Over 300 athletes will take part in the third and final leg of the Asian Grand Prix Athletics championship.
With top Indian athletes busy in camps in different parts of the country and some in Ukraine and Asian countries like China, Japan and Korea deciding to send their second string of athletes, the event has been robbed off its sheen.
In all, 320 athletes including 189 from India would be competing for honours in the events tomorrow which would witness three open events also for men and women.
Some of the Indian athletes with their stupendous performance have already booked their berth for the Commonwealth Games this October in New Delhi.
Indian Grand Prix, which is in its ninth edition, would be held tomorrow afternoon followed by Asian Grand Prix in the evening under floodlights
SK Mortaza in 400 metres and Renjith Maheswari in Triple Jump have won gold medals in both Pune and Bangalore events and are termed favourites to continue their winning spree.
Another favourite is shot Putter Omprakash, who narrowly missed the gold in Pune finishing second, deservedly took the gold in Bangalore with superb clearance of 19.80 metres pushing the Pune gold medalist Zhang Jun of China (19.53m) to second spot.
In fact the men athletes have grabbed 13 medals including five gold medals.
Likewise, Krishna Poonia, the discus thrower, who had won bronze medal in 2006 Doha Asian Games with a personal best of 61.53 metres, went a step further marginally increasing her effort to 61.64 metres for gold in Bangalore.
Poonia, ranked ninth in the world had also clinched the top honours in the event in Pune and in fact it was a clean sweep for India as Seem Antil and Harwant Kaur swapped their placing for silver and bronze in Pune and Bangalore.
Eight other athletes have also finished in medal bracket winning silver and bronze medals in the last two events.
Former sprint ace PT Usha trained, Tintu Luka (800m) who was indisposed after winning the silver at Pune, is said to be raring to go for the gold in the Chennai event.
In the 4 X 100m relay, the Indian men quartet set a new national record of 39.23 secs,while overseas athletes from Kazaksthan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka and China have ruled the roost in other track and field events.
Asian Grand Prix events: Men: 100m, 400m, 800m, Shot Put, High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump and 110m Hurdles and Women 100m, 400m, 800m, 100m hurdles, High Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put and Discus.