It may not be out of place to say that some Indian athletes have shown world class abilities and talent at the Jakarta Asian Games of 2018. The gold haul has been only seven in athletics—three less than the 10 golds Indian athletes won at the inaugural 1951 Asian Games in New Delhi. But some of the performances do show that Indian athletes are ready to shine on the world stage, beyond the map of Asia. Jinson Johnson, a lithe Indian army man, won the 1500-metres race in style. His time of 3.44.72 would have fetched him gold at the Rio Olympic Games of 2016, and that’s saying a lot. The winner there had a time of 3.50.00.
To beat someone like the favored Johnson in the 800-metres, Manjit Singh had to run the race of his life. He did, and had even Johnson gushing. Johnson barely managed silver by edging out Qatar’s Abubaker Abdalla in a photo-finish. The 1-2 in 800-metres augurs well for India in this very gruelling track event. Then there was Neeraj Chopra, all of 20, who performed heroically, saving his best for the javelin event. By throwing a distance of 88.06 metres Chopra, India’s official flag-bearer at the Games, broke his own national record. Importantly, his powerful throw would have easily fetched him a bronze at the Rio Olympic Games of 2016. Another man set for the world stage, surely.