From a ‘Mahabharata’ star to PT Usha: India’s best moments at Asian Championships
The concept of athletics continental championships of Asian countries was seen in the 1950s, but it took decades to take shape.
Through the efforts of a group of committed leaders, including Sardar Umrao Singh in India, championships eventually abandoned the field in 1973 in Marikina, which is part of the Manila metropolitan area in the Philippines.
With 17 countries for the inaugural edition of the championships, Asian family athletics became 45 countries, while Bhubaneshwar is organized to host the 22nd edition of the game.
India hosts the championship for the third time after driving in New Delhi in 1989 and 2013 in Pune.
In recent years, the Asian Championships did not attract the best on the continent. This time too, some of the big stars missing for the meeting in Bhubaneshwar.
But Asian home championship is an opportunity to enjoy, to take stock of the current situation in India and find the history and meet the most outstanding athletes who have won laurels in the past.
Who were all champions of India? What kind of success has India had in recent years?
Manila, 1973, with China still to join, Japan was the natural leader of continental athletics. Japan has passed medals with 19 gold, eight silver and eight bronze and India followed a count of four gold, six silver and six bronze.
India has made a rare distinction in the filming of the men in Manila to complete the podium. Jagraj Singh (17.00m), Gundeep Singh (16.37m) and Bahadur Singh (15.75m) were the top winners of a country’s currency that has had a good tradition ever since.
The triple jumper Mohinder Singh Gill, who had recorded a national record of 16.79 meters in Fresno, United States in 1971 was far below his best level in Manila at 15.96 m and easily won the gold. Ming-Chi Chen of China Taipei was 15.31 for silver.
The T.C. Yohannan India, which would set a national salvage margin of 8.07 meters to win gold at the Asian Games next year in Tehran, was third with 14.96.
The marteur Ajmer Singh (60.42 m) and décathlateur Vijay Singh Chouhan (7245 points) won the other two gold medals for India.
Seoul, 1975: India has doubled its gold account of the first meeting in the Korean capital. It is the 800 meter specialist, Sriram Singh, who set the time, winning a double and also anchoring the 4x400m relay team to a brilliant gold in a close finish with Japan.
Sriram took the 800 meters in 1: 47.8 and won the 400 meters in 47.03. He had to reach the final of the Montreal Olympics in 800 next year and finish seventh in a national mark of 1: 45.77, which is still standing.
Backstage runner Hari Chand (10 000 m), steeplechaser Harbail Singh, pitcher Yohannan, ball pitcher Bahadur Singh and pitcher Praveen Kumar – who was to play the character of the year Bhīm forward on the TV series’ Mahabharata ‘- were the others who add gold in India.
The consolation was that the Indian women opened their gold account. West Bengal sprinter Rita Sen claimed that the 400 meters in 1979 while Geeta Zutshi Haryana claimed 800m gold two years later.
Rattan Singh (1500) and Hakam Singh (20km on foot) were the other winners of the gold medal in 1979, while A. Rajan (800m), Gopal Saini (5000m), Sabir Ali (decathlon) and Ram Chand Km march) have been added to the Indian gold Counting with the one of Zutshi in 1981.