Asian Games: Chennai sports enthusiasts cheer for India

Dipa Karmakar

In less than 48 hours begins the much-awaited sporting extravaganza – Asian Games – in Jakarta (Indonesia).

It kicks off on 18 August with the closing ceremony scheduled for 2 September.

A total of 572 athletes will represent India in 36 sports (312 men and 260 women). They will be accompanied by 232 coaches, support staff and officials.

“Sports doesn’t mean only cricket. Medals in various events of Asian Games is a pride for us. Sending my warm wishes to all Indian athletes and hope they put up an impressive show,” says Hariharan, who runs an athletic academy in Madipakkam.

“We have always done well in Asian Games. Remember only twice, we finished outside the top eight, since hosting the first Asiad in 1951,” he adds.

Hariharan says, “With Tokyo Olympic slated for 2020, a spirited performance in Jakarta would give us a lot of confidence.”

“I bet big on Commonwealth Games javelin champion Neeraj Chopra. He is a wonderful athlete and is sure to bring success for the country,” says the coach.

“Watch out for woman sprinter Tintu Luka in 800 metres,” he points out.

For Umesh Kumar, a resident of Perambur, boxing is a passion. “We have well-prepared boxers ready to take the ring. The likes of Vikas Krishnan Yadav and Shiv Thapa are wonderful boxers. They will pack it with punch.”

Neeraj Chopra

Hopes are high on shooters from the country.  “Our shooters topped the medal tally in this year’s Mexico World Cup. We even finished ahead of United States and China.

“Manu Bhaker will compete in 10 m air pistol and 25 m sports pistol. Expectations lie heavily on the shoulders of Elavenil Valarivan, Heena Sidhu, Rahi Sarnobat, Seema Tomar, Apurvi Chandela, among others,” says sports enthusiast from Tambaram, Sridhar Kumarasamy.

He adds, “Don’t write off our prospects in wrestling. Bajrang Punia and Gold Coast champion Vinesh Phogat (50 kg) will be a strong contenders for the gold medal.”

Besides hockey and kabaddi, all our attention will be on our shuttlers. The likes of Saina, P V Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi are geared up for a splendid show, he adds.

And last but not the least, gymnast Dipa Karmakar carries huge expectations, he adds.


Neeraj Chopra (javelin)
Shiv Thapa & Vikas Krishnan (boxing)
P V SIndhu & Saina Nehwal (badminton)
Manu Bhaker, Heena Sidhu, Seema Tomar (shooting)
Bajran Punia & Vinesh Phogat (wrestling)
Dipa Karmakar (gymnastics)