Tough fight awaits in July 29-30 Asian All-Star Meet
New Delhi: Reigning Asian Games gold medalist woman sprinter Guzel Khubbieve of Uzbekistan and Asian champion discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi of Iran will lead a pack of international stars in the Asian All-Star Athletics Meet to be held here from July 29-30.
National record holder triple jumper Renjith Maheswary, promising shot putter Om Prakash and woman discus thrower Krishna Poonia will lead the Indian challenge in the Commonwealth test event to be held at the renovated Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
The two-day meet will have athletes from 17 Asian nations.
In the women’s 100m sprint, Khubbieve will be challenged by Yulia Gavrilova of Kazakhstan - double gold medalist in this year’s Asian Junior Championships – and India’s HM Jyothi, winner of 2008 edition of the meet in Bhopal.
In men’s discus throw, India will field United States-based Vikas Gowda who have made a comeback with a performance of 63.22m.
He will up against reigning Asian champion Ehsan Hadadi of Iran, who holds the continental record of 69.32m and recently recorded a season’s best of 68.45m in Tehran.
In women’s discus, Indian throwers are a cut above the rest with Krishna Poonia leading the challenge with a season leading 61.64m recorded in USA.
Om Prakash Singh, the current Asian champion, led the list in men’s shot put along with teammates Satyendra Singh and Saurabh Vij. Amin Nikfar from Iran, the Asian Indoor Games victor, and Grigoriy Kamulya of Uzbekistan are expected to provide a tough fight to the Indians.
In men’s triple jump, Renjith Maheswary, the former Asian champion, would log horns with Kazakhstan’s Yevgeniy Ektov, the bronze medalist in last year’s Asian Championships at Guangzhou and defending Asian All-star Meet victor at Bhopal.
Joseph Abraham, the World Championship semi-finalist in 400m hurdles at Osaka in 2007, unbeaten in Asian Grand Prix this year is aiming high with better marks at Delhi.
In women’s 800m, Tintu Luka – the prodigy of legendary PT Usha – is gearing up for a challenge from compatriot Sushma Devi and Ayako Jinnouchi of Japan.
In men’s 800m, World University Games champion Sajad Moradi, who made another clean sweep of medals in the three-leg Asian Grand Prix on Indian soil earlier this year, is likely to rule once again.
The women’s long jump will be another attraction as multi-event specialist Yulia Tarasova of Uzbekistan, Bhopal champion Priyadarshini of Sri Lanka and the trio of Indian jumpers – M A Prajusha, Mayookha Johny and Reshmi Bose – are all set to make it a tough contest.
At least seven champions from Bhopal have figured here. This apart, many Asian Games and continental (senior and junior) championship medalists are also in fray.