Indian athletes begin medal hunt from Thursday

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> India's top athletes will focus on adding a few more medals to the kitty when the athletics events of the Doha Asiad get underway on Thursday.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:38 IST
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India's top athletes will seek to put behind the dope scandal involving ace discus thrower Seema Antil and focus on adding a few more medals to the kitty when the showpiece athletics events of the 15th Asian Games get underway in Doha on Thursday. The last edition of the Games in Busan had turned out to be a happy hunting ground for the Indian athletes who managed a rich haul seven gold, six silver and four bronze medals - their best medal heist in the Games so far. But most of the athletes like Anju Bobby George were then in their best form, but the going may not be easy this time around with China and Japan set to wage a tough battle for supremacy. With a galaxy of Asian stars to be seen in action in the next one week at the magnificent Khalifa stadium, the Indians will have to really perform at their best to able to make a mark at this level. Anju is regarded as a medal prospect, but her performance graph has seen an alarming dip in recent times. It will need a huge improvement on her part to be able to finish on the podium. Anju, the 2003 world championship bronze medallist, will have to contend with the likes of Kumiko Ikeda of Japan, with the distinction of completing a historic double in the women's long jump and 100m hurdles. (PTI)