New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) Long jumper Anju Bobby George and Commonwealth Games silver medallist discus thrower Seema Antil will lead the 26-member Indian delegation at the three Asian Grand Prix events, which would serve as qualifiers for the IAAF Golden League, later this month.
The athletes will be up against the best in Asia at the three meets to be held in Bangkok (May 18), Bangalore (May 22) and Pune (May 26).
Anju, who finishd a disappointing sixth at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, is the highest ranked athlete in her event but will face stiff competition from China's Liu Huahua and Torres Marestella of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Antil would look to add to her silver medal at Melbourne but compatriots Harwant Kaur and Krishna Poonia would look to thwart her challenge in the women's discus throw event but it is China's Song Aimin, with a throw of 65.23 metres to her credit, who is likely to give her the toughest challenge.
In the men's section, Amritpal Singh and Mahan Singh would lead the Indian charge in the long jump with impressive past efforts of 8.08m and 7.99m respectively to their credit.
National record holder Anil Kumar P, who jumped 10.30m in August last year, is another talent to watch out at the event.
In other events, Ranvijay Singh and Navpreet Singh are contenders in the shot put while Jagdish Kumar Bishnoi will team up with Anil Singh in the javelin throw event.
In the women's 400m, Manjit Kaur, member of the silver winning team in the Commonwealth Games, along with Satti Geeta would look to grab a medal and Anuradha Biswal will be the Indian hope in the 100m hurdles.
The expectations from the rest of the Indian competitors are not very high. Pinki Pramanik in the 800m and Rajwinder Kaur in the 200m are unlikely to pull off anything extraordinary and the same goes for Joseph Abraham and Gurpreet Singh in the 400m hurdles.
The IAAF Golden League events are scheduled to be held in Oslo, Paris, Rome, Zurich, Brussels and Berlin in June. The winning athlete would be awarded one million dollars and would also receive a gold bar.
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