New Delhi, Dec 25 (UiTV/IANS) – Olympic gold medallist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra’s Diamond League trophy, his silver at the World Athletics Championships and Indian athletes success at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham made 2022 a fruitful year for Indian athletics, which gave fans numerous opportunities to celebrate.
After his gold at Tokyo Olympics, Neeraj was expected to bring more laurels for the country, and he didn’t disappoint with his performances in 2022.
However, a groin injury forced him to miss the CWG 2022, but he marked his return by becoming the first Indian to win a Diamond League meet in Lausanne and eventually became the first Indian to win a Diamond League trophy.
Apart from Neeraj, the performances in track and field by youngsters like steeplechaser Avinash Sable, triple jumpers Eldhose Paul and Abdulla Aboobacker, walkers Priyanka Goswami and Sandeep Kumar, javelin thrower Annu Rani, long jumper Murali Sreeshankar and high jumper Tejaswin Shankar at CWG 2022 were heartening and helped India win eight medals, including one gold, four silver and three bronze in Birmingham.
After a successful 2022, India will also have a busy 2023 season in athletics as well, with 23 major domestic competitions scheduled throughout the year, besides international meets like the Asian Games and the World Athletics Championships.
Indian athletes will look to fine-tune their skills in the domestic competitions, and test themselves at the Asian Games and the World Athletics Championships by competing against the best in the business.
Not only will they look to win medals at Asian Games and World Athletics Championships, they will also look to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics enroute these events.
As far as qualification pathway to Paris 2024 is concerned, the athletes will be able to qualify in two ways — with 50 per cent of qualification places based on achieving the entry standard for an event within the qualification period, and the other 50 per cent based on the World Athletics Ranking within the ranking period.
On the other hand, the qualifying standards for the Asian Games can be different for each nation, unlike the Olympics where the qualifying marks for every nation are the same.
The respective federations set their own standards which athletes need to achieve within a fixed qualifying window to be eligible for selection in the final team.
Once again, all eyes will be on Neeraj Chopra who has already begun his training at Loughborough University in England, ahead of the 2023 season.
He will be camped at Loughborough University, which is known for its state-of-the-art sports gym and training facilities, for 63 days.
The 24-year-old is accompanied by his coach and biomechanics expert Klaus Bartonietz, and physiotherapist Ishaan Marwaha.
Chopra’s 2023 season is expected to include the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in August, the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in September and also competitions in the Diamond League series.
Overall, there are many major events lined up next year where India can perform well and announce itself as an upcoming athletics powerhouse.
The top performance in these events will also be a massive boost for their confidence ahead of the much-awaited 2024 Paris Olympics.
However, the Indian athletes will have to be careful about their fitness and recovery, which has hampered the country’s progress for a long time. They will also have to take care of the doping issue.