Who have been India's best track and field athletes?
India's 18-year-old track athlete Hima Das became the latest sporting sensation after she bagged the gold medal yesterday. Hima clocked 51.46 seconds to clinch the gold in the 400m race at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships. She became the first Indian runner to achieve this feat. Here we look at the five best Indian track and field athletes.
'Payyoli Express' PT Usha dominated the tracks
Legendary athlete PT Usha, also known as the Payyoli Express, is regarded as India's best ever. She won a silver in the 100m and 200m race in the 1982 Asian Games. In the 1984 Olympics, she finished 4th in the 400m hurdles. The Padma Shri winner dominated the 1986 Asian Games with four gold and one silver. She won 101 career medals.
'The Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh was a tremendous athlete
In 1958, Milkha Singh set records in the 200m and 400m categories at the Cuttack National Games. He also won the gold in Tokyo in the Asian Games that year. In the same year, Milkha won the gold medal in 400m race at the Commonwealth Games. He missed out on a medal by a whisker at the 1960 Olympic Games.
Vikas Gowda a revelation in Discus Throw
Vikas Gowda holds the national record in Discus with a throw of 66.28 metres. The 34-year-old has represented India in four Olympics. He was the seventh Indian to reach an Olympic final in 2012 Games. Vikas won a silver in the 2010 CWG and bettered it with a gold, 4 years later. He has won 5 Asian Championship medals and 2 Asian Games medals.
Anju Bobby George defined 'Long Jump'
In 2001, Anju Bobby George broke her own record in Long Jump after setting 6.74m mark at the National Circuit Meet. She also won the gold in the Long Jump and Triple Jump events at the Ludhiana National Games. In 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, Anju sealed a bronze medal. But the moment came in 2003 when she won bronze at the World Championships.
Lalita Babar is an accomplished athlete
Lalita Babar has been one of the finest athletes in the 3000-metre steeplechase event. She won her first international medal in the 2014 Asian Games. She is also the reigning Asian Champion and bettered her national record in 2016. She became the 1st Indian to qualify for a track event at the Olympics after 32 years in 2016 Rio Games.