Tokyo Olympics: Eyes on Dutee Chand and Avinash Sable as India begins its athletics campaign
Apart from Dutee Chand and Avinash Sable, MP Jabir in the 400m hurdles and the 4x400m mixed relay team will also be in action
India will finally start its athletics campaign at the Tokyo Olympics after a week since the games started. For India, the event will start with the men's 3000m steeplechase event, followed by men's 400m hurdles, women's 100m and the 4x400m mixed relay.
Here's a look at the Indian athletes who will be competing on Day 7
Men's 3000m Steeplechase – Avinash Sable
Avinash Sable achieved qualification for the Tokyo Olympics in the men's 3000m steeplechase event at the 2019 World Championship in Doha. He set a time of 8 minutes 21.37 seconds to breach the Olympics qualifying standard of 8:22.00. In the process also broke his own national record of 8:25.23, which he set in the first round heats of the same event.
The 26-year-old would not only be making his debut in the Olympics but would become the first Indian since 1952 to participate in the event at the games.
Avinash Sable would start his campaign in the second heat where there's also Abraham Kibiwott of Kenya who is currently ranked sixth in the world with a personal best of 8:05.72.
Avinash Sable's personal best: 8:20.20
Olympic Record: 8:03.28 (Conseslus Kipruto)
World Record: 7:53.63 (Saif Saaeed Shaheen)
Men's 400m Hurdles – MP Jabir
25-year-old MP Jabir sealed his qualification for the Tokyo Olympics through the world ranking. The athlete was ranked 34th in the World Athletics' road to Olympics ranking where a total of 40 athletes qualify for the event.
MP Jabir who recently won gold at the Inter-State Athletics Championship in Patiala will be the first-ever Indian male athlete to compete at the Olympics in the 400m hurdles event.
MP Jabir is placed in Heat 5, which also includes Rai Benjamin from the United States, one of the favourites for a gold medal. Rai Benjamin along with his countryman Karsten Warholm will go into the games as two of the three fastest 400m hurdlers of all time.
MP Jabir's personal best: 49.13 seconds
Olympic Record: 46.78 seconds (Kevin Young)
World Record: 46.7 seconds (Karsten Warholm)
Women's 100m – Dutee Chand
Indian sprinter Dutee Chand who has qualified for both 100m and 200m events at the Tokyo Olympics would begin her campaign in the 100m race. The 25-year-old secured her place at the Tokyo Olympics through the world rankings as she wasn't able to get direct qualification for the games.
Dutee would be competing at her second Olympics after Rio 2016, where she was knocked out from the heat. She recently set a new national record in the 100m event with a time of 11.17 seconds at the Indian Grand Prix event held in Patiala.
In the women's 100m event, Jamaican sprint star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price would be eyeing for gold and it would be her third, if she wins, in the same event at the Olympics.
Dutee Chand's personal best: 11.17 seconds
Olympic Record: 10.62 seconds (Florence Griffith Joyner)
World Record: 10.49 seconds (Florence Griffith Joyner)
Mixed 4x400m Relay – Alex Anthony, Sarthak Bhambri, Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan
The Indian team had secured qualification for the mixed relay event at the Tokyo Olympics in 2019 when they reached the finals of the World Athletic Championship. The mixed team relay will be making its debut at the Olympics in Tokyo.
The team for the mixed relay event was decided a couple of weeks ago when the Athletics Federation of India conducted the trials at the National Sports Institute in Patiala. The trials were conducted to select the women's runners, as the women's relay team failed to make the Olympic cut.
At the trials, Revathi Veeramani finished first with a time of 53.55 seconds while Subha Venkatesan finished second with 54.26 seconds.
National Record: 3.15.71
World Record: 3:09.34 (USA)