The Asian Games: The athletes to watch!

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The Indonesian cities of Jakarta & Palembang are hosting the 2018 Asian Games that kicked off last night. India has sent a 576 member strong contingent that will participate in 40 events spread across 14 days

What are the Asian Games? The Asian Games are held every 4 years and welcome athletes from all over Asia to participate in the 40 sports.

TIME FOR INDIA TO SHINE!

In the 2014, India stood 8th on the medal’s tally with 11 Golds and a total of 57 medals. 4 years later, with 576 athletes, India is expected to fair better in Indonesia. Traditionally, India has done very well in Athletics. 72 f the 139 medals they have won so far at the Asian Games are in athletics. India is expected to do well in Hockey, Athletics, Archery and Shooting at the games. Here are the big names and teams from India to watch out for in this edition of the Asian Games

  1. Manu Bhaker & Shreyasi Singh (Shooting)

The Indian shooting contingent is expected to hit the bullseye at the Games. Manu Bhaker at the tender age of 16 will lead India’s charge. She has won 10 Gold Medals so far in her short yet already illustrious career and has won a medal in every International event that she has participated in. She is taking part in 3 events in the games. The other big name to watch out for from the trap shooting category is Shreyasi Singh. Shreyasi won a bronze in the 2014 edition and is expected to do better this time.

2. Hima Das (Athletics)

18-year-old Hima Das is expected to blaze the tracks as she will take part in the Women’s 200 & 400 m sprint races. Hima recently became the first Indian to win a gold in an International event after she stood first in the Under-20 World Championships in July.

3. Neeraj Chopra (Javelin)

In track & field, Neeraj Chopra is also certain to strike gold in the Men’s Javelin throw event. The flag bearer of the Indian contingent has the best 5 throws in Asian competition this year and this competition is expected to be a cakewalk for the 20-year-old. No Indian has ever won a gold in the Javelin throw but Chopra, a Junior World Champion can re-write history.

4. Men’s Kabaddi Team

India has never lost in the men’s kabaddi event in 9 editions of the Asian Games. Expect nothing less than a gold this time from the defending champions.

5. Dipa Karmakar (Gymnastics)

She narrowly missed a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics but Dipa Karmakar isn’t expected to miss the podium at the Asian Games. 25-year-old Dipa Karmakar won bronze in the Vault category of the artistic gymnastics at the 2015 Asian Championships and she will be expecting to improve on that performance.

6. Saina Nehwal & PV Sindhu (Badminton)

India has 8 medals in Badminton at the Asian Games but has never won a gold. The Mixed team and the individual event is expected to yield at least a gold medal this time around. PV Sindhu & Saina Nehwal are expected to play a crucial role if India is to win their first ever Asian Games gold medal in Badminton.

7. Sushil Kumar (Wrestling)

Sushil Kumar – The Grand Old Man of Indian wrestling with 2 Olympic medals has never won an Asian Games Gold. In 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Sushil won a Bronze. Since then his hunt for an elusive gold at the Asian Games has taken him to Jakarta where the 35-year-old veteran is hoping to stand tall in the men’s 66 kg category.

 


Written by: Yash Chawla. Yash is former Anchor of NDTV with over 9 years of experience as a sports journalist.
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