KOCHI: The likes of Tajinderpal Singh Toor, Kamalpreet Kaur and Dutee Chand will be the star attractions at the Indian Grand Prix-2 which gets underway at the Chandrasekharan Nair Police Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday but the meet could script some interesting storylines from the rising stars.
While all the focus was on Hima Das, Amoj Jacob and other seasoned athletes in the IGP-1 held last Sunday, it was youngsters like long jumper Jeswin Aldrin, quarter-miler Priya Mohan and javelin thrower DP Manu who stole the limelight.
Jeswin nearly broke M Sreeshankar's national record at that meet with an 8.20m jump and crossed the eight-metre mark on two other occasions to make everyone sit up and take notice.
Young Priya managed to produce another impressive show as she is increasingly looking to break into the national relay team set-up.
"My focus is only on improving my individual performance and these meets are an opportunity to try and improve my timings," said Priya.
DP Manu produced a personal best of 82.43m in the javelin throw which helped him achieve the qualifying mark for the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. Rohit Yadav also managed to throw past the 80m mark at the meet as other javelin throwers from the country besides Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra are slowly making their presence felt.
While the elite athletes are slowly marking their returns, these athletics meets are also increasingly becoming about youngsters starting to steal the limelight.
In the women's long jump, Ancy Sojan showed the strides she made recently by producing her personal best jump of 6.51m which drew praise from none other than Anju Bobby George.
Once again, expect a few surprises from the next gen athletes. While the likes of Tajinderpal (shot put) and Kamalpreet (discus throw) are expected to dominate their events, Dutee will be the big attraction in the 100m women's run. Dutee was expected to be tested by Dhanalakshmi but the Tamil Nadu sprinter is set to miss the meet having tested positive for Covid.
The 400m women's run is expected to be one of the most closely fought disciplines thanks to the return of Jisna Mathew and Vismaya VK as they will fight it out with Priya and Poovamma Raju.
All these sprinters would be looking to stay in the fray of the national relay team with the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games coming up. With stiff competition for a place in the relay squad, the likes of Vismaya and Jisna would look to make a strong statement after returning to action after a long gap.
Steeplechaser Avinash Sable is also set to hit the track again after the Tokyo Olympics last year while the 400m hurdles event will see fierce competition as the fight will be between MP Jabir, Dharun Ayyasamy and Santhosh Kumar.