Thiruvananthapuram, March 22: Steeplechaser Avinash Sable and Discus Thrower Kamalpreet Kaur will have to find comfort in the spotlight being trained mostly on them for the first time since the Olympic Games in August last as they return to competition in the Indian Grand Prix 2 Athletics meet in the Chandrasekharan Nair Police Stadium here on Wednesday (March 23).
Avinash Sable set the men's 3000m Steeplechase National Record time of 8:18.12 in the Olympic Games heats while Kamalpreet Kaur was the only woman to make it to the final of her event, finishing sixth with a best throw of 63.70m after being only one of the two competitors who breached the automatic qualification mark of 64m in the qualifying round.
There will also be much attention on Jisna Mathew and VK Vismaya who return to women's 400m competition after a long gap. The two quarter-milers, part of the relay teams that have won medals in the Asian Championships, will seek to strike form that will keep them in the hunt for berths in the relay squads for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games later this year.
Priya H Mohan whose 52.59 second run in the Inter-University Championships in Bhubaneshwar last month and 52.91-second effort in the Indian Grand Prix 1 meet here on March 13 make the only sub-53-second woman quarter-miler in the past couple of years. She will look to showcase consistency and form in a high-quality field.
A look at the men's 400m Hurdles line-up suggests that it could be a very competitive race, with the likes of Tokyo2020 Olympian MP Jabir, National Record holder Ayyasamy Dharun and T Santhosh Kumar - who have produced three of the four best times by Indian hurdlers - capable of challenging and motivating one another to deliver quality performances.
Similarly, the men's Triple Jump event features four of the five athletes who went past the 16m mark in the National Open Jumps Competition here on March 1 and produce some fireworks. As many as 126 athletes, including 40 women, will compete in 16 events on the Grand Prix 2 schedule.
Shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor and sprinter Dutee Chand, who competed in the World Athletics Indoor Championship in Belgrade last week, are both entered in their respective events.
Though they are drawn in different 100m races, Dhanalakshmi Sekhar and Dutee Chand could add another chapter to their evolving on-track rivalry, with the Tamil Nadu girl winning the Federation Cup and National Inter-State Championships last year with the Olympian finished second and third respectively in the two competitions they squared up in.
Source: AFI Media