Indian Athletics team did amazingly well at the recently concluded 22nd Asian Athletics Championships 2017 held in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. They topped the medals tally with a total of 29 medals – 12 golds, 5 silvers, and 12 bronze. They beat China by a 9 medal margin.
Image: The Asian Athletics Championships 2017 – Medals Tally
Another proud moment for India was when Ranchi pulled out of hosting the International event, Bhubaneswar stepped in and the entire stadium was built in record time.
Here is a list of Indian Athletes who won at the Asian Athletics Championships 2017 and interesting stories about them.
Mohammed Anas Yahiya – Gold Medal Winner Men’s 400 m Run Time 45.77 seconds
Mohammad Anas Yahiya (born 17 September 1994) is an Indian sprinter who specialises in the 400 meters event. He has qualified for two events at the 2016 Summer Olympics: the 400 meters and the 4 × 400 m relay.
Image: Mohammed Anas Yahiya
Anas broke the national record in 400 meters at the Polish Athletics Championship in Poland in June 2016, clocking 45.40 seconds, the exact qualification mark for the Olympics. He thus became the third Indian athlete to qualify for the event at the Olympics, after Milkha Singh (1956 and 1960) and K. M. Binu (2004).
In July 2016, Anas was part of the relay team that broke the national 4 × 400 meters relay at Bangalore and qualified for the Olympics. The quartet of Anas, Kunhu Mohammed, Ayyasamy Dharun and Arokia Rajiv clocked 3:00:91, rewriting the national record of 3:02.17 set by themselves four weeks earlier in Turkey. The performance also helped the relay team jump to 13th place in the world rankings. He was qualified for IAAF in the Bahamas after clocking 45.32 seconds in the Indian Grand Prix.
G Lakshmanan – Double Gold Medal Winner Men’s 5000 Run Time/Distance 14:54:58 and Men’s 10000 Run Time/Distance 29:55:87
Image: G Lakshmanan
The 27-year-old from Sokkurani, a small village in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu came under the wings of coach Loganathan at the age of 16, after losing his father and has since been looked after by him like a son. He is also a havildar in the Indian Army.
Video: Lakshmanan wins 5000m at 22nd Asian Athletics Championships 2017
Neeraj Chopra – Gold Medal Winner Men’s Javelin Throw Distance 85.23
Image: 19 year old Neeraj Chopra
Born: 24 December 1997 (age 19), Panipat, India. Neeraj Chopra is an Indian track and field athlete competing in the javelin throw. He won a gold medal in 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He also set a world junior record.
Chitra PU – Gold Medal Winner Women’s 1500m Run Time 4:17:92
Born: 9 June 1995 (age 22), Palakkad, India. Chithra PU is an Indian track and field athlete from the state of Kerala. She has won many state, national and international school meet gold medals in middle and long distance track events.
Sudha Singh – Gold Medal Winner Women’s 3000m, Steeplechase Time 9:59.47
Image: Sudha Singh
Sudha Singh is an Indian Olympic athlete in the 3000 meters steeplechase event. Born: 25 June 1986 (age 31), Bareilly district, India
Swapna Barman – Gold Medal Winner Women’s Heptathlon 5942 pts.
Image: Swapna Barman – Beating all odds
Swapna Barman (born October 29, 1996 in Jalpaiguri) is an Indian heptathlete. Swapna scored 4435 points to finish second in Youth Nationals in 2013. On August 19, 2014, she turned a full-fledged heptathlete and scored 5400 in Patiala to qualify for the Asian Games.
Swapna suffers from great financial constraints and has had multiple injuries. She takes part in minor tournaments across the country to fund her training and support her family. Swapna also has 6 fingers on each feet making it difficult for her to use regular athletic shoes. What makes her Gold medal impressive is she has no financial support or sponsors to buy her expensive custom shoes for her unique feet so she just uses regular athletic shoes.
Ajay Kumar Saroj – Gold Medal Winner Men’s 1500m Run Time 3:45:85
Manpreet Kaur – Gold Medal Winner Shotput
Nirmla Sheroan – Gold Medal Winner Women’s 400m Run Time 52.01
Image: Nirmala Sheoran
Nirmala Sheoran (born 15 July 1995) is an Indian sprinter who specialises in the 400 meters event. She has qualified for two events at the 2016 Summer Olympics: the women’s 400 meters and the women’s 4 × 400 meters relay.
Sheoran qualified for the women’s 400 meters event at the Olympics by clocking 51.48 seconds, her personal best time, at the National Inter-State Senior Athletics championships in Hyderabad in July 2016. She finished well below the Olympics qualification mark of 52.20 seconds and also surpassed the previous best time at the meet of 51.73 seconds set by M. R. Poovamma in 2014. Sheoran’s time in the heats of the same event was 52.35 seconds, while her previous personal best of 53.94 seconds was set in 2013 at Chennai.
Debashree Mazumdar, MR Poovamma, Jisna Matthew, Nirmla Sheroan – Gold Medal Winner Women’s 4X400m relay
Mohammed Anas Yahiya, Kunju Muhammed, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv – Gold Medal Winner Men’s 4X400m relay
Arokia Rajiv – Silver Medal Winner Men’s 400 m Run Time/Distance 46.14
Arokia Rajiv is an Indian track and field athlete who competes in the 400 meters event. Wikipedia
Born: 22 May 1991 (age 26),
Thonakal Gopi – Silver Medal Winner Men’s 10000 meters Run Time 29:58:89
Thonakal Gopi aka Thanackal Gopi is an Indian athlete who has qualified to represent India at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the marathon event. He is also in the Indian Army. Wikipedia
Born: 24 May 1988 (age 29), Wayanad district, India
Tajinder Pal Singh Toor – Silver Medal Winner Men Shot Put Distance 19.77m
Born: November 13, 1994
Neena Varakil – Silver Medal Winner Women’s Long Jump Time/Distance 6.54m
Born: May 2nd 1991
Anu Raghavan – Silver Medal Winner Women’s 400m Hurdles 57.22
Born: April 4th 1993. She is also National champion for the last 2 years.
Jinson Johnson – Bronze Medal Winner Men’s 800 Run Time 1:50:07
Jinson Johnson is an Indian sprinter who specialises in the 800 meters event. He has qualified for the 800 meters event at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Wikipedia
Born: 15 March 1991 (age 26), Chakkittapara, India
Jabir MP – Bronze Medal Winner Men’s 400 Hurdles Time 50.22
Born: 08 Jun 1996 in Kerala
Vikas Gowda – Bronze Medal Winner Men’s Discus Throw Distance 60.81m
Vikas Shive Gowda is an Indian discus thrower and Shot putter. Born in Mysore, he grew up in Frederick, Maryland in the United States. His father, Shive, coached the 1988 Indian Olympic track team. Vikas Gowda is a Padma Shri awardee in 2017. Wikipedia
Born: 5 July 1983 (age 34), Mysore, India
Davinder Singh Kang – Bronze Medal Winner Men’s Javelin Throw Distance 83.29m
Born, 18 Dec 1988, Age, 28. Birth Place, Punjab
Dutee Chand – Bronze Medal Winner Women’s 100 Run Time/Distance 11.52
Dutee Chand is an Indian professional sprinter and current national champion in the women’s 100 metres event. Wikipedia
Born: 3 February 1996 (age 21), Gopalpur, Odisha, India
Jisna Mathew – Bronze Medal Winner Women’s 400m Run Time 53:32
Jisna Mathew is an Indian female sprinter from Kerala. Jisna qualified for the world youth meet by winning gold at the National Youth Athletics Championships. Wikipedia
Born: 7 January 1999 (age 18), Kerala, India
Sanjivani Jadhav – Bronze Medal Winner Women’s 5000 Run Time/Distance 16:00:24
Nayana James – Bronze Medal Winner Women’s Long Jump Distance 6.42m
Sheena NV – Bronze Medal Winner Women’s Triple Jump Time/Distance 13.42m
Born: 22 Nov 1992 in Kerala
Annu Rani – Bronze Medal Winner Women’s Javelin Throw Distance 57.32m
Annu Rani is an Indian javelin thrower and is the current national record holder. She is supported by Olympic Gold Quest, a not-for-profit foundation that identifies and supports Indian athletes.
Born: 28 August 1992 (age 24), Meerut, India
Purnima Hembram – Bronze Medal Winner Women’s Heptathlon 5798pts
Purnima Hembram Born: 10 July, 1993.
Merlin Joseph, Himashree Roy, Srabani Nanda, Dutee Chand – Bronze Medal Winner Women’s 4 X 100m relay
Image: Bronze Medal Winner Women’s 4 X 100m relay
Image: Indian Contingent at The Asian Athletics Championships 2017 Opening Ceremony
Many of these athletes have fought amazing obstacles just to participate and compete at this level. There is no or very little facilities or fund available to them from the Sports Authorities in India. Hence it is our duty to support and encourage them as citizens of India since it is they who make us proud by hoisting out tri-colour high in the air.