The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) announced a formidable squad to contest for glory at the Asian Athletics Championship 2017. The 22nd version of the continental event will take place at the Indian city of Bhubaneswar from the 6th to the 9th of July at the Kalinga Stadium.
Hoping to clinch as many podium finishes as possible, the AFI named the strongest available athletes in the Indian contingent for Asian Athletics Championship. The Gold Medallists in all the events will automatically qualify for the World Championships later this year at London.
The 95 strong Indian squadron consists of 46 female athlete. Controversial Javelin Thrower Davinder Singh Kang has also been included in the team for the championships in spite of being tested positive for recreational drug marijuana. The athlete was not provisionally suspended as WADA code specifies the substance as listed.
“We have checked his case. Since, Davinder has not been put under suspension, we have named him in the team. If the NADA (Disciplinary Panel) passes any order or suspends him before or during the championships, we will take him out of the team.
“But as of now, there is no bar on him being selected in the team,” Athletics Federation of India Secretary CK Valson told PTI.
Seven among the 95 will be going through fitness trials on the 30th of June and 2nd of July, before they get their provisional entries into the competition. Hurdler and long jumper Nayana James, triple jumper Joyline Murali Lobo, Commonwealth Games gold medallist discus thrower Vikas Gowda, long-jumper Siddharth Mohan Naik, triple jumper U Karthik and high hurdler Siddhanth Thingalaya constitute the provisional list of athletes.
Lalita Babar and Renjith Maheswary, the national record holders in Women’s Steeplechase and Men’s Triple Jump respectively, are the two notable athletes missing from the team.
Former Olympian and AFI President Adille Sumariwalla sounded confident that the Indian team will be faring better on home soil than they did in China 2 years back.
“Our athletes have had a string of solid performances in the run-up to the competition and we believe they are primed to deliver their best here. We are sure they would win more than the 13 medals claimed in the last edition at Wuhan in China. Our team has a number of proven performers and some exciting new talent,” he said.
The Biennial Continental Championships this year will be the proving ground for over 800 athletes from over 40 countries. This is the third time India will play host after New Delhi (1989) and Pune (2013).
The Complete Team:
100m: Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda;
200m: Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda;
400m: Nirmala, MR Poovamma and Jisna Mathew;
800m: Tintu Luka, Archana Adhav and Lili Das;
1500m: Monika Choudhary;
5000m: L Suriya and Sanjivani Jadhav;
10,000m: L Suriya, Sanjivani Jadhav and Meenu;
3000m steeplechase: Sudha Singh and Parul Chaudhary;
100m hurdles: Nayana James;
400m hurdles: Anu R, Jauna Murmu and Arpitha M.
Pole vault: KM Sangeeta; High jump: Sahana Kumari and Swapna Barman;
Long jump: Nayana James, Neena V and G Karthika;
Triple jump: Sheena NV and Joyline Murali Lobo.
Shot put: Manpreet Kaur, Ramanpreet Kaur and Anamika Das;
Discus throw: Kamalpreeet Kaur Bal, Seema Punia and Himani Singh;
Hammer throw: Sarita R Singh and Gunjan Singh;
Javelin throw: Annu Rani, Poonam Rani Singh and Suman Devi.
4x100m relay: Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, Merlin Joseph, Reena George, Ruma Sarkar and Himashree Roy;
100m: Amiya Kumar Mallick
200m: Amiya Kumar Mallick
400m: Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob and Arokia Rajiv
800m: Jinson Johnson and Vishambhar Keolkar
1500m: Ajay Kumar Saroj and Siddhantha Adhikari
5000m: G Lakshmanan and Murli Kumar Gavit
10,000m: Lakshmanan, Gopi Thonakal and Kalidas Hirave
3000m steeplechase: Naveen Kumar and Durga Bahadur Budha
110m hurdles: Siddhant Thingalaya and Prem Kumar
400m hurdles: Jabir MP, Santhosh Kumar T and Durgesh Kumar Pal
Pole vault: S Siva
High jump: Chethan B and Ajay Kumar
Long jump: Ankit Sharma, Samsheer SE and Siddharth Mohan Naik
Triple jump: Arpinder Singh and Karthik U;
Shot put: Tajinder Pal Toor, Jasdeep Singh Dhillon and Omprakash Singh Karhana;
Discus throw: Vikas Gowda, Dharamraj Yadav and Kirpal Singh;
Hammer throw: Niraj Kumar;
Javelin throw: Neeraj Chopa, Davinder Singh Kang and Abhishek Singh;
Decathlon: Jagtar Singh and Abhishek Shetty;
4x100m relay: Amiya Kumar Mallick, Jyotishankar Debnath, Anuroop John, VK Elakkiya Dasan, Pravin Muthukumaran and Chintha Sudhakar;
4x400m relay: Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jaco, Arokia Rajiv, Sachi Roby, Mohan Kumar and Kunju Muhammed.
Photo by romanboed