Bhubaneswar: In the absence of India’s top athletes, who are currently training abroad, the men’s triple jump and the women’s throws events are expected to be the top draws in the Indian Grand Prix 3 (IGP 3) here Saturday. The spotlight at the Indian Grand Prix 3 could be on Abha Khatua and Manpreet Kaur (shot put), Navjeet Kaur Dhillion (discus throw) and Sarita Ramit Singh (hammer throw). All the four will vie for top honours.
At the triple jump pit, a high quality competition can be expected at the Grand Prix with Eldhose Paul, Abdulla Aboobacker, Karthik Unnikrishnan and Gauly Venister Devasahayam likely to push one another. Eldhose (16.99m) and Unnikrishnan (16.81), season leaders in India, will seek consistency.
The presence of local runners Srabani Nanda and Amiya Mallick in the women’s and men’s 200m races will be of great interest to the home fans at the Kalinga Stadium here.
The 31-year-old Nanda’s first national-level competition in India in nearly four years will be watched with interest. Using Kingston, Jamaica, as her training base, she has a creditable 23.68 second 200m performance March 26 as her best this year. With the cream of India’s women’s sprinting talent now in Turkey, Srabani Nanda will have to push herself for a better timing.
Navjeet will make her first appearance in a national-level discus throw competition since September 2021, when she won the National Open Championships with a best effort of 54.49m. The vastly experienced Sarita is the only 60m-plus hammer thrower in the field.
The last national-level athletics competition here was the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in 2018, a year after the majestic Kalinga Stadium hosted Asian Athletics Championships.
Competitions begin Saturday with the men’s pole vault and conclude with the men and women’s 5000m events.