28 November, 2020

Base Camp For A World Podium Finish

The Asian Athletics Championship yields India’s best-ever haul. Our track stars now aim for London.

Photographs by Sandipan Chatterjee and PTI
Base Camp For A World Podium Finish

Indian athletes seem to have learnt to be at the forefront, come rain, shine or thunderstorm. After all, they overcame those impediments, besides, competition from their opponents, during Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar last week to hit the podium an unprecedented 29 times.

Rain left the Kalinga Stadium’s artificial track and field damp, and the resultant humidity hampered athletes’ per­­f­­ormances on all five days. But Ind­ian athletes won enough metal to finish atop the medal tally for the first time ever in 22 editions of the competition. In all, India clinched 29 medals—12 gold, five silver, and 12 bronze—in the 42-nation competition, reason enough to celebrate.

It could have been one more gold, but Archana Adhav, who came first in the women’s 800m, was later disqualified for ‘pushing’ an athlete towards the end of the fiercely contested race. That aberration apart, the championship served as preparation for athletes ahead of the World Championships, beginning on August 4 in London. All...



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