"Andrei Filimonau (recovery expert), Bybu Ponnarassery Ravunny (masseur) and "
New Delhi, July 13 - The first batch of India's 26-member track and field squad will leave for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Monday hoping to replicate the success they had on home soil four years ago.
Chief coach Bahadur Singh said this will provide ample opportunity for acclimatisation to the Indian track and field stars.
We will be reaching Glasgow a fortnight in advance before the athletics competition begins July 27. Within two-three days of our arrival, the athletes will be at ease with the weather condition, he said here Sunday.
The chief coach, a former two-time Asian Games gold medallist in shot put, said it would be a different experience to perform at an away venue.
We produced our best performance in the Delhi Commonwealth Games with 12 medals, which was also possible due to great crowd support. Competing in Glasgow would be a different ball game but we have a balanced squad comprising of experienced and fresh talent and I'm hoping that the entire team will put its best feet forward, he said.
Singh said the number of medals in athletics would depend on the performance of the athletes on that particular day and he didn't want to speculate before the competition.
Star athlete Ashwini Akkunji, who was part of the Indian 4x400 metres relay squad which won the gold at the Delhi 2010 CWG, said she was mentally stronger this time and was hopeful that the 2014 edition would produce more stars for Indian athletics.
We have a talented team, comprising of several brilliant youngsters and some experienced athletes. I can say that I'm mentally much tougher today than I was in 2010. We've been training for years to bring pride for our country and it is my struggle which has made me stronger today, he said.
Meanwhile, the latest quarter-miler sensation Machettira Poovamma, who was part of the Indian 4x400 metres squad which won the gold in the 2013 Asian Athletics Championship and also won a silver in the individual 400m race, said, she was ready to handle the pressure.
There should be pressure for an athlete. All of us train together for months, so it doesn't really makes much difference on who is in the team and who is not. We all train together and know each other well to perform on a given day, she said.
National record-holder in women's high jump, Sahana Kumari said she was expecting a good performance at the forthcoming CWG. The 32-year-old who broke Bobby Aloysius's eight-year-old national record just before the 2012 Olympics with a jump of 1.92 metres, is expecting a better show.
I'm jumping 1.90 metres at training and I'm expecting to do well. Let's see where I can finish, she said.
The 2014 CWG will be held in Glasgow from July 23-Aug 3. The athletics competitions are scheduled to be held from July 27-Aug 2.
First batch of Indian track and field squad:
Men's 4x400m relay: Rajiv Arokia, Kunhu Muhammed, Sachin Roby, Lalit Mathur, Jithu Baby, Jibin Sebastian;
Men's javelin throw: Ravinder Singh Khaira; Davinder Singh; Vipin Kasana;
Men's hammer throw: Chandrodaya Narayan Singh;
Women's 4x400m relay M Poovamma, Debashree Mazumdar, Rattandeep Kaur, Anilda Thomas, Ashwini Akkunji
Women's high jump: Sahana Kumari
Women's discus throw: Seema Punia
Women's javelin throw: Annu Rani.
Chief coach: Bahadur Singh; Anatoli Varda (sprint coach), Kashinath Naik (javelin
coach), Ramesh Nagapuri (400m women coach), Ankush Punia (discus coach),
Andrei Filimonau (recovery expert), Bybu Ponnarassery Ravunny (masseur) and
Kamaldeep Kaur (masseur).