Powered by world class athletes like Neeraj Chopra, India’s largest-ever contingent of 655 is all set for a record medal haul at the 19th Asian Games.
Murali Sreeshankar (men’s long jump): Long jumper Sreeshankar will aim to redeem himself after a disappointing show at the World Championships. His personal and season’s best of 8.41m puts him in the second spot among Asians behind compatriot Jeswin Aldrin.
Jeswin Aldrin (men’s long jump): His national record jump of 8.42m early in the season makes Aldrin the season leader among Asians. But he has been inconsistent after that big jump.
Praveen Chithravel (men’s triple jump): The season leader among Asians in triple jump and No. 6 in the world with his national record of 17.37m, the 22-yearold is a medal contender.
Men’s 4x400m relay: With an Asian record time of 2 minutes 59.05 seconds in the qualification round of the world championships, India is a gold medal contender in the men’s 4x400m relay. The Indian quartet’s time is also the eighth best in the world this season.
Shaili Singh (women’s long jump): The 19-year-old long jumper was a silver medallist in the Asian Championships in July and can go one step further.
Parul Chaudhary (women’s 3000m steeplechase): The number 2 in Asia with a season best and national record time of 9:15.31, the top spot at the Asiad is within her reach.
Swapna Barman (women’s heptathlon): A big gold medal contender, she will be defending her title. She was beaten by continental leader Ekaterina Voronina of Uzbekistan at the recent Asian Championships.

Women’s 4x400m relay: The Indian team is the number 1 in this event in Asia this season with the 3:30.41 seconds it clocked in July at a meet in Sri Lanka.
Nikhat Zareen (51kg women’s boxing): She is the brightest gold medal prospect from the boxing contingent. Nikhat has enjoyed an indomitable run in the past two years in the flyweight (51 kg) category. She has won the World Championship title twice, two Strandja Memorial titles and a Commonwealth Games gold medal. She will be eager to add yet another gold to her kitty at the Asiad.
Lovlina Borgohain (75kg women’s boxing): The Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist is still learning the tricks of the trade in the middle-weight category having bulked up from 69kg. Winning the Asian and World Championships gold in her new 75kg category will have surely boosted her confidence.
Deepak Bhoria (51kg men’s boxing): Armed with a lethal left hook, the pugilist from Hisar has a penchant for fearless boxing and defeating some of the giants of the game. He produced one of the best performances for India in recent years when he upstaged former world champion Saken Bibossinov at the World Championships in May.
Bajrang Punia (65kg men’s wrestling): Bajrang is a major prospect to win gold at the Asiad. At the 2018 Games, he clinched the top spot in Jakarta, Indonesia. He also secured an Olympic bronze in 2021, and then solidified his status as one of India’s best grapplers ever with a gold at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games last year. However, with no international match experience for the past year, it is to be seen whether he can compete at his best.
Antim Panghal (53kg women’s wrestling): Considering her recent performances, after her bronze at the world championships, she is a big gold medal contender at the Asiad.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty (badminton, men’s doubles): The duo achieved a historic feat earlier in 2023 by becoming the first Indian pair to secure gold at the Asian Championships and will now look to repeat the performance at the Asiad.

Men’s hockey team: The team failed to live up to the expectations at the home World Cup early this year, finishing ninth, but India are still the favourites for gold. They won the recent Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai, which involved all the top teams from the continent.
Chess team: There are some promising names in India’s chess squad. D Gukesh, R Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi, Arjun Erigaisi and Pentala Harikrishna make up a strong men’s team, while Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli – both among the best women’s players in the world – lead the women’s team.
Men’s kabaddi team: The Indian men’s kabaddi team has won every Asian Games gold medal since 1990 except for the 2018 edition where they were beaten by Iran in the semifinals. In the recent Asian Kabaddi Championships, India emerged champions for the eighth time.
Women’s cricket team: Captain Harmanpreet Kaur will miss the early games due to suspension. But the team is a gold medal favourite for sure.
Men’s cricket team: The first-team players are preparing for the ODI World Cup. But led by Ruturaj Gaikwad, this team of T20 stars too will be strong contenders for a top finish.
India’s first gold: Sachin Nag: In the history of Asian Games, India has won only one gold in swimming. And it went to Banarasborn Sachin Nag. Nag’s effort was cheered live by PM Nehru who rushed to hug him. After all, this was also India’s first gold medal in the 1st Asian Games held at Delhi in 1951. The swimmer also claimed two bronze medals in 4x100m freestyle and 3x100m medley.
No other Indian swimmer has bagged 3 medals in Asian Games. The Sachin Nag residential block in Delhi’s Asian Games village is a forlorn reminder of this great athlete.

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