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Indians begin campaign in World Athletics tomorrow


Beijing:  Their record nothing to be proud of in the prestigious event, Indian athletes will begin their campaign in the World Championships here tomorrow with shot putter Inderjeet Singh facing the severest test of his fledging career while three 20km race walkers seek to post their personal bests on the second day of competitions.

India has won just one bronze through long jumper Anju Bobby George in the 2003 edition in Paris in the 32-year-old history of the championships, dubbed as the second biggest single sport event after FIFA World Cup.

Anju later finished fourth in the 2005 edition before discus thrower Vikas Gowda ended at seventh both in 2011 and 2013 championships. In fact, Anju and Gowda were the only two athletes to have reached the finals of a World Championships since its inception in 1983.

Gowda will once again be the one on whom India will be banking upon for a best finish, if not a medal. The national record holder Indian has competed in the most number of top flight events this year, having taken part in a few legs of the Diamond League series, even winning a bronze in Shanghai in May. He will have both his qualification and final round events on August 27.

Baljinder Singh, Chandan Singh and Gurmeet Singh will be the Indian faces in men’s 20km race walk, the starting event for Indians early morning tomorrow.

Gurmeet Singh, double Asian championships medallist in 2012 and 2013, has been listed 27th among 62 entered in the event. The Indians will try their best to gain a place among the top-10 in a strong field.

Asian champion and World University Games gold medallist shot putter Inderjeet will be the other Indian featuring tomorrow. The 27-year-old Indian tossed the iron ball to a personal best of 20.65m during Federation Cup at Mangalore and attained both World Championships and Rio Olympics tickets.

The above performance is matching with the cut-off mark, set by the IAAF for throwers to enter the final round in Beijing. Inderjeet has been in an impressive run of form in the recent months but World Championships will be a completely different ball game and he will have to surpass his best to even make it to the finals.

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