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CWG 2022: Apart from Neeraj Chopra in athletics, there are many contenders, how many medals will India win?

New Delhi: All eyes will be on the performance of Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra in the Commonwealth Games (CWG 2022). Apart from this, Murali Sreeshankar and Avinash Sable are also among the strong contenders for the medal, which will see the Indian athletics team doing their best. Women’s javelin thrower Anu Rani and 38-year-old veteran discus thrower Seema Poonia are likely to claim the Antil podium places while India are expected to win more than one medal in the men’s triple jump event.

With the arrival of many world-class players, India would be hoping for half a dozen medals in the Games which will run from July 28 to August 8. The country’s best performance in athletics was at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, with two gold, three silver and seven bronze medals going to the track and field event. It will certainly be difficult to match that performance but the Indians will be looking to give their second best.

Two medals expected in discus throw
In the women’s discus throw event, India can also get two medals from Seema Antil and Navjit Kaur Dhillon, who had won silver and bronze respectively in the 2018 edition. Antil is on her way to her fifth medal. She has never come empty handed from the Commonwealth Games, although her best performance this season has been 57.09m. Navjeet hasn’t thrown the discus for 60 meters this year, his best of 58.03 meters in May. India’s Nitender Rawat will take part in the marathon race which will be held on July 30 while other track and field events will be held from August 2-7.

Neeraj Chopra will get a challenge
Defending champion Chopra is not a definite contender for the gold medal as he will be up against Grenada’s Anderson Peters for the first place. Peters had finished third in the 2018 Gold Coast Games with 82.20m while Chopra won the gold with 86.47m. But after that Peters won the 2019 World Championships and has thrown more than 90 meters three times this year.

Sreeshankar, a medal contender in Birmingham, was among the contenders at the World Championships but finished seventh with a jump of 7.99m. The disappointment of the World Championship may propel him to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games. Another long jump Indian, Mohammad Anees Yahia, could also be in the race for a medal if he jumps 8m, which he has done five times this season, with a best jump of 8.15m in March. Avinash Sable will again be up against Kenya’s World Championship bronze medalists Consueslas Kipruto and Abraham Kibivot for the top spot in the 3000m steeplechase. India’s three triple jumper Praveen Chitravel, Abdullah Abubakar and Aldos Paul are also doing well this season.

Two players out due to doping
Sekar Dhanalakshmi and Aishwarya Babu were dropped from the team after failing a doping test. Dhanalakshmi’s absence will affect the women’s 4x100m relay team but the presence of England, Jamaica, Canada and Australia does not leave India among the top contenders. The country so far has 28 medals (five gold, 10 silver and 13 bronze) in the athletics event of the Commonwealth Games, in which the legendary athlete Milkha Singh won the gold medal in the men’s 440 yard event in 1958.

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