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Anju to lead in Asian Indoor athletics

February 13, 2008 16:47 IST

Long jumper Anju Bobby George will lead India's challenge at the third Asian Indoor Athletics Championships, starting in Doha on Thursday.

India is fielding a large contingent of 32 athletes, including 15 women, in the three-day championships, which also serves as a qualifying meet for the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Spain next month and Beijing Olympics.

For Anju, who won a silver medal in the previous edition of the championships in Pattaya in 2006, it will be a good build-up for Beijing.

The Indian team also has triple jumper Renjith Maheswari, who has already booked a ticket to Beijing, besides a host of other contenders looking to make it to the Olympics.

Among them are Sajeesh Kumar Joseph and Rajeev Ramesan in the 800m, Chatholi Hamza and Sajeesh Kumar Joseph in the 1500m, Surendra Kumar (3000m), Hari Shankar Roy (high jump), Shiv Shankar Yadav (long jump), and decathlete P J Vinod. All were best performers in their respective events last year.

The women's contingent also has some top athletes. Besides Anju, others in the fray are the last edition's 1500 metres gold medal winner Sinimol Paulose and Sushma Devi (800m and 1500m), Preeja Sreedharan (3000m) and J J Sobha (pentathlon).

India are fielding athletes in 18 events (9 out of 13 for men and 11 out of 13 for women).

The Athletics Federation of India sent a small contingent to the last edition and won eight medals, including one gold, finishing eighth. China, Kazakhstan and Japan grabbed the first, second and third places respectively.

More than 300 athletes from 31 countries are taking part in the three-day meet, at the state-of-the-art Aspire Academy.

The Team:

Men: Aboobacker, V B Bineesh, Vinay Chowdhary, Gurvinder Pal Singh Bhullar, Virinder Kumar Pankaj (4x400m relay), Sajeesh Kumar (800m/1500m), Rajeev Ramesan (800m), Chatholi Hamza (1500m), Surendar Singh (3000m), Sandeep Kumar (3000m), Hari Shankar Roy (high jump), Krishna Kumar Rane (long jump), Amarjeet Singh (triple jump), Satender Singh (shot put), Om Prakash Karjhana (shot put), P J Vinod (heptathlon), Ram Niwas (heptathlon).

Women: Chitra Soman (400m relay), Mandeep Kaur (400m/4x400m relay), Manjeet Kaur (400m/4x400m relay), Sini Jose (4x400m relay), Iyleen Samantha (4x400m relay/60m), Veerappan Leelavathi (4x400m relay/60m hurdles/pentathlon), Sinimol Paulose (800m/1500m), Sushma Devi (800m/1500m), Preeja Shreedharan (3000m), Kavita Raut (3000m), Sahana Kumari (high jump), Anju Bobby George (long jump), M A Prajusha (long jump), Kulwinder Kaur (triple jump), J J Sobha (pentathlon).

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