An Olympics medal in athletics has eluded India. In a discipline that holds 48 events, the highest in the Games, India has never seen any individual earning a podium finish. Often our athletes have finished fourth in their attempts. However, it's been a long wait for a podium finish.
Things look a bit different today as with the turn of the year 2021 and the beginning of the new season, three Indian athletes presently hold the top records in the world. It is also because, in most of Europe and the USA, the outdoor season for athletics has not started. So going by the records, let's have a look at the Indians who are reigning the world with their records in 2021. Also, their feats, give us hope of making it big in athletics in the Tokyo Olympics
Athlete Avinash Sable set a new national record in the men's 3000m steeplechase event in the Federation Cup on March 17. The 26-year-old recorded a timing of 8:20.20 and hence he ended up breaking his own record which he set in 2019. In October 2019, Sable had secured a berth in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in men's 3000m steeplechase after finishing 13th in the final of the World Athletics Championships.
Avinash's best still holds the top place in the world in the 2021 season. He is followed by Australia's Ben Buckingham in the second position, who clocked 8:27.38 on March 27, 2021. The third position is held by Amos Serem of Kenya, who clocked 8:30.20 on February 28.
India's Murali Sreeshankar won himself a long jump berth at the Tokyo Olympics on March 16 after breaking his own national record to set a new mark of 8.26m at the Federation Cup in Patiala. The 21-year-old Sreeshankar came up with a fantastic jump in his 5th attempt as he went past the Olympic qualification mark of 8.22m. Notably, Sreeshankar's previous best was 8.20m. The young long jumper has been impressive over the years and it's fitting that he heads to Tokyo for his maiden Olympic Games appearance. Presently, Sreehshankar also holds the spot of no. world in the one along with two others who have equalled his jump. Cheswill Johnson of South Africa jumped 8.26m on February 27 and Steffin McCarter 8.26m.
Star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra set a new national record on March 5 in the third leg of the Indian Grand Prix in Patiala. Chopra returned to competitive action after more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and immediately made an impact with a record throw of 88.07 meters to break his own national record by one centimetre. Chopra had set the previous record at 88.06m during his gold-medal winning throw at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Johannes Vetter of Germany holds the second position after he threw 87.27m on February 7. Belarus' Pavel Mialeshka threw 83.85 metres on January 16 holds third place.