All eyes on Indian athletes this Asian Games

The 2018 Asian Games are all set to begin in the beautiful cities of Jakarta, and Palembang in Indonesia from the August 18 to September 2. The two-week event will see participation from 45 nations.

India will make its 18th appearance at the Asian games. All eyes will be on the 523 Indian athletes representing the nation. India will be participating in all the 36 sports offered including Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Handball, Hockey, Javelin throwing, Kabaddi, Martial Arts, Rowing, Shooting, Volleyball, Weightlifting, and Wrestling.

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Javelin star and Commonwealth gold medal winner Neeraj Chopra has been selected by the Indian Olympic Association to be the nations flag bearer for the competition. Some prominent athletes participating in the Games are Bajrang Punia, Sushil Kumar, Seema Punia, Sakshi Malik, PV Sindhu, Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu, Deepika Kumari, Vikas Krishan, Tintu Luka, Yogeshwar Dutt, Saurav Ghoshal, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal.

Historically, India has done extremely well in the traditional strengths; Athletics, Wrestling, Boxing and Shooting, winning over 300 of their 616 medals in these four games. However, players in Table Tennis, Squash, Cycling Lawn Tennis, Rowing, Gymnastics and Combat Sports have been showing promise with stellar performance.

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ce was at the first Asian Games in 1951, held in New Delhi. India won 51 medals, competing in all the seven sports offered at time, finishing at number 2 on the table, after Japan. In 2014, India achieved the eighth rank and accumulated a total of 57 medals.

Many believe that this tournament will allow Indian athletes to truly showcase their abilities. There’s finally a growing interest in sports other than cricket. The Sports Ministry has invested in providing athletes with equipment and training to make the Indian contingent competitive on the international stage. Even among viewers and citizens, there is more awareness and interest in sports beyond cricket. Social media has helped tremendously with this.

You can catch all the action and cheer for the Indian players on Doordarshan Sports from August 18.

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