Indian Grand Prix Three: Men's triple jump, women's throw events to be top draws

The IGP 3, followed by IGP 4 a couple of days later and the inter-State championships next month, is one of the last chances to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships.

ATHLETICS TRACK

In the absence of the country'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 in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. (Representative Image)   -  M. Srinath

After two postponements and moving States, the third Indian Grand Prix will finally be held at Bhubaneswar on Saturday. But, in the absence of many of the big names, it is likely to be more of a testing ground for the second rung and beyond of Indian athletics.

The IGP 3, followed by IGP 4 a couple of days later and the inter-State championships next month, is one of the last chances to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships.

Barring the men’s triple jump, however, not many will have much hope.

The IGP, originally scheduled to be held in Madurai on May 17, was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram and May 21 before moving to Bhubaneswar.

Main attraction

The cream of Indian athletics, including the quartermilers, is currently training in Turkey and is expected back only in the first week of June. As such, the main attraction of Saturday’s meet would be the competition between Eldhose Paul, Karthik Unnikrishnan and Abdulla Aboobacker, three of the top-four triple jumpers in the country this year and all targeting to be only the third Indian to cross the 17m mark.

Paul came the closest, jumping 16.99m at the Federation Cup in April but the others aren’t too far behind and with all having already cleared the qualifying marks for the major international events, the 17m mark would be a big incentive.

The favourite

Amiya Mallick will be a favourite to win in the 200m sprint at home. Interestingly, also expected to be in action is Srabani Nanda in the 200m, the first outing for the sprinter at home this year.

Srabani has been training in Jamaica for a long time now and has only been an occasional visitor at events back home but in the absence of other major sprinters, should have it easy.

The events: Men: 200m, 800m, 5000m, 110m hurdles, high jump, triple jump, shot put, pole vault; Women: 200m, 800m, 5000m, 100m hurdles, high jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, hammer.

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