India may not be anywhere close to being an athletics superpower but equipment manufactured by the country's companies will be visible all across during the field events of the Olympics Games at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium. (More Sports News)
Out of the six companies listed by the sport's governing body World Athletics to provide implements for shot put, discus and hammer throw events, three -- Anand Track and Field Equipment (ATE), Bhalla International and Nelco -- are based in India.
They will provide shot put (7.26kg), discus (2kg) and hammer (7.26kg) during the Olympics, which opens on July 23.
These implements are kept in a holding rack at the competition site for the participants to choose from.
"We are providing six implements each in shot put, discus throw and hammer throw. So, for men and women's events together, we are providing 36 implements during the Tokyo Olympics," Adarsh Anand of ATE told PTI.
"Our implements have been in use in the Olympics since 1992 Barcelona Games till now. In fact, our journey with athletics started in Tokyo during the 1991 World Championships," he added.
The company has a registered office in Meerut and also a factory in New Delhi.
Bhalla International is also providing 36 implements, six each for the men's and women's shot put, discus throw and hammer throw.
"Our brand got the award for high quality products during the 2016 Rio Olympics. It is a proud privilege for our company and also for the country to have a presence in the Olympics," company representative Ashutosh Bhalla said.
Many of the competing athletes come with their own implements customised for themselves, like a Neeraj Chopra would use a Nemeth or a Nordic brand javelin. But some athletes will use the implements kept at the racks of the competition site.
Three Indians, who are competing in the Tokyo Olympics, will use home made brands.
"Tajinder Singh Toor and Kamalpreet Kaur will use our shot put and discus. Also, I am expecting competitors of other countries to use our implements," Anand said.
"Over the years, athletes of more than 40 countries -- from Europe and the USA -- have been using our implements in various top-level competitions all over the world," he added.
Veteran Seema Punia will be using the discus manufactured by Bhalla International, also a Meerut-based company and one of the biggest sports goods equipment exporters in the country.
"Seema Punia is using our discus and I am expecting some other competitors also," Bhalla said.
But the implements are not provided to the Organising Committee in lieu of money.
"It is a kind of advertisement. Our products are seen at the biggest sporting event in the world and athletes will come to know about our brand and our quality and they can try out in future," said Bhalla.
A good quality shot put, discus or hammer is priced anywhere between Rs 6000 to Rs 10,000.