JAKARTA, Aug 24: The spotlight will be on Neeraj Chopra and Hima Das while Dutee Chand would look to prove a point when India�s track and field athletes begin their campaign in the Asian Games here tomorrow.
The rise of young athletes and consistency shown by the established names such as Mohammed Anas, Seema Punia and Jinson Johnson has given hopes of India bettering its medal tally of the last edition.
Of India�s 57 medals at the last edition, athletics had delivered 13, including two gold.
India has never won a gold in javelin throw in the Asian Games and Chopra is expected to change this piece of statistics.
However, the road will not be easy for the 2016 Under-20 world champion. He has been in the best of form this season with a throw of 87.43m during the Diamond League in Doha in May but he will face stiff competition from Chinese Taipei�s Cheng Chao Tsun, who has a personal best throw of 91.36, achieved last year.
Tsun, though, has managed only 84.60m as his best this season so far as he is struggling with an elbow injury.
Men�s javelin final is scheduled for August 27.
No Indian has come close to finishing on the podium in javelin event since Gurtej Singh won a bronze at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi.
Hima, on the other hand, has had a sensational rise after starting her career as late as 2016.
Her timing of 51.32 seconds at the Commonwealth Games placed her sixth in a world-class field but a run in 51.46 seconds at Tampere made her the first Indian woman to win a gold at an IAAF World Junior Championships.
But, she is unlikely to clinch a gold in her first Asian Games unless Bahrain�s Salwa Eid Naser goofs up big time. The Nigerian-born Naser is the 2017 World Championships silver medallist and has won four legs of the prestigious Diamond League Series this year.
Her 49.08 seconds timing while finishing second in the Monaco leg Diamond League Meeting last month is the Asian record and second leading time in the world this season. � PTI