• Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Reliance Foundation athletes look to build on Asian Games gains at National Games

The 37th National Games, which are scheduled to be held from 25th October to 9th November, 2023 in Goa will see participation from 45 Reliance Foundation athletes in seven different sports. Reliance Foundation’s athletes were in excellent form at the Asian Games earlier this month, contributing 12 medals to India’s best ever medal tally of 107, which saw the country finish fourth on the medal standings. Ahead of the opening ceremony of the National Games, shuttler Anupama Upadhyaya started the competition with a gold medal in women’s singles.

Featuring a record 43 sporting disciplines, the 37th National Games will witness participation of 10,000 athletes from 28 states and eight union territories. Speaking ahead of the key tournament, Martin Owens, Head Coach at Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Centre, expects the athletes to bring in a lot of medals at the Games. “We have a very strong team, which is led by Kishore Jena, who has already qualified for the Paris Olympics last year and Jyothi Yarraji. Jyothi will be favourite for Gold in the 100m hurdles. We have Animesh, who is coming off wins at the 62nd National Open Athletics Championships 2023 and the 3rd National Open U-23 Athletics Championships 2023 last week with a meet record in the 200m event. Yamandeep, who won decathlon Gold at the Open Nationals, who is a strong contender for a medal.

“We have a very strong sprint squad. Our young sprinters have been doing really well, including Jayaram, who is probably the best young sprinter in the country. Our hurdlers Tejas Shirse and Moumita Mondal are also coming off fine displays last week in the U23 Championships. Everything is coming together at the right time and the athletes are full of confidence,” he said.

Anupama Upadhyaya opens medal tally with Badminton Gold

Reliance Foundation’s first medal at the Games came even before the opening ceremony as reigning national champion Anupama Upadhyaya won gold in the women’s singles event after defeating Aditi Bhatt in the final.

Jyothi, Kishore, Gulveer and Kartik eye strong finish to season

Reliance Foundation’s athletics contingent is full of names who medaled at the recently held Asian Games in Hangzhou. Among those who will be looking to reprise their medal winning feats at the National Games would be Jyothi Yarraji (women’s 100m hurdles and women’s 200m), Kishore Kumar Jena (men’s javelin throw), Kartik Kumar (men’s 10000m) and Gulveer Singh (men’s 10000m).

Jyothi (100m hurdles), Kishore and Kartik all won silver in their respective events at the Asian Games, while Gulveer won bronze. The quintet will start as strong favourites to medal in their events at the National Games.

Shooters aim to hit bulls eye

A nine-strong contingent of shooters from Reliance Foundation will take to the shooting range at the National Games. Palak Gulia, who was the youngest Indian shooter to medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, while also becoming the 1st Indian woman to win gold in the 10m air pistol event, will be eyeing an encore.

Bhowneesh Mendiratta, who won India’s first shooting quota for the Paris Olympics, will also be featuring in the men’s trap event. Tilottama Sen, who missed out on a medal at the World Championships by a whisker in the 10m air rifle event, will be joined in the same event by Nancy and Meghana Sajjanar.

Next gen look to impress

The National Games present a big opportunity for RF’s next gen to make their mark. Among the athletics contingent, Tejas Shirse (men’s 100m hurdles), Moumita Mondal (women’s 100m hurdles), D Jayaram (men’s 100m), Animesh Kujur (men’s 200m) and Pragyan Sahu (women’s 100m hurdles) will also be strong medal contenders after impressive displays at the Open Nationals and National U23 Championships recently. Pole vaulter Baranica Elangovan will also be eyeing a top of the podium finish after winning silver at the National Open Athletics Championships by crossing the 4m mark.

RF athletes will also be participating in the sports of archery, boxing, judo and wrestling

Reliance Foundation is also the Principal Partner of the Indian Olympic Association. Reliance Foundation also has partnerships with the Athletics Federation of India and the Odisha State Government. Reliance Foundation is the Principal Partner of Athletics Federation of India. As a part of the partnership with AFI, Reliance Foundation’s Sir HN Hospital provides support to all athletes in the areas of physiotherapy and nutrition.

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