India may be far from being a superpower in athletics, but equipment manufactured by companies in the country will be seen everywhere during the Olympic Games field events at Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
Of the six companies listed by the sport’s governing body, World Athletics, to provide equipment for shot put, discus and hammer events, three – Anand Track and Field Equipment (ATE), Bhalla International and Nelco – are based in India.
They will provide the shot put (7.26 kg), discus (2 kg) and hammer (7.26 kg) during the Olympics, which opens on July 23.
These tools are kept in a holding rack at the competition site from which participants can choose.
“We are providing six apparatus each for shot put, discus and hammer throw. So for the men’s and women’s events together, we are providing 36 apparatus during the Tokyo Olympics,” Adarsh Anand said. from ATE to PTI.
“Our equipment has been in use at the Olympics from the 1992 Barcelona Games until now. In fact, our journey with athletics started in Tokyo at the 1991 World Championships,” he added.
The company has a head office in Meerut and also a factory in New Delhi.
Bhalla International is also providing 36 tools, six each for men’s and women’s shot put, discus and hammer throw.
“Our brand received the award for its high quality products at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It is a proud privilege for our company and also for the country to be present at the Olympic Games”, said the representative of the company, Ashutosh Bhalla.
Many competing athletes come with their own custom tools, like a Neeraj Chopra would use a Nemeth or a Nordic brand javelin. But some athletes will use the apparatus kept in the racks of the competition site.
Three Indians, participating in the Tokyo Olympics, will use house brands.
“Tajinder Singh Toor and Kamalpreet Kaur will be using our shot put and discus. Also, I expect competitors from other countries to use our tools,” said Anand.
“Over the years, athletes from over 40 countries – from Europe and the United States – have used our tools in various high-level competitions all over the world,” he added.
Veteran Seema Punia will use the disc made by Bhalla International, also a Meerut-based company and one of the country’s largest exporters of sports equipment.
“Seema Punia is using our drive and I am also expecting other competitors,” Bhalla said.
But the machines are not provided to the organizing committee in lieu of money.
“It’s kind of an advertisement. Our products are seen at the biggest sporting event in the world and the athletes will know our brand and our quality and they can try them out in the future,” Bhalla said.
A good quality shot put, discus or hammer costs between Rs 6,000 and Rs 10,000.