The IAAF World Championships are all set to get underway this Friday in the picturesque Olympic Stadium in London, Great Britain. India will be sending a 24 member squad for the marquee games.
The IAAF 2017 Squad for India is as follows:
20 km walk – Khushbir Kaur
400m and 4x400m relay – Nirmala Sheoran
Heptathlon – Swapna Barman
Marathon – Monika Motiram Athare
Javelin Throw – Annu Rani
4x400m relay – Poovamma Raju Machettira, Jisna Mathew, Anilda Thomas, JaunaMurmu, Anu Raghavan
20km walk – Irfan Kolothum Thodi, Devender Singh and Ganapathi Krishnan
400m and 4x400m relay – Muhammed Anas Yahiya
5000m and 10000m – LakshmananGovindnan
110m hurdles – Siddhanth Thingalaya
Marathon – Gopi Thonakal
Javelin Throw – Neeraj Chopra and Davinder Singh Kang
4x400m Relay – Arokia Rajiv, Amoj Jacob, Kunhu Mohammed, Mohan Kumar Raja, Sachin Roby.
In spite of the long list of participants, there will be a handful of popular Indian stars who will not be seen at the IAAF 2017 meet for various reasons.
Renjith Maheshwary: Renjith Maheshwary is India’s most decorated as well as the greatest ever men’s triple jumper. The 31-year old currently holds the National Record in the sport with a jump of 17.30m set at the Bengaluru Grand Prix last year. The man from Kottayam in Kerala is a former gold medallist in the 2007 Asian Athletics Championships and a bronze medallist in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He has also represented India in 3 Asian Games finishing 4th in 2006 and 2010 with jumps of 16.54 and 16.76 respectively, before a disappointing 15.67 in 2014 to finish 9th. The National Record holder has also been to three successive Olympics in Beijing, London and Rio where he underperformed to not reach the final in either of the three editions. This will be the second straight championships Maheshwary will miss after last competing in the games back in Moscow 2013. The reason for has been told as not competing in the qualifiers for personal reasons.
Tintu Luka: Tintu Luka is one of the most decorated of the students of the legendary PT Usha. The 28-year old has been one of the most successful middle distance runners for India in recent times. The Woman from Kerala has been a six time Asian Athletics Championships medallist with two golds. She has also been a three time medallist at the Asian Games with a gold in the 4*400m relay in Incheon 2014. The National Record Holder in women’s 800m(1:59.17), had a brilliant start to her world championship route after she qualified fastest in the heats of the 800m at Bhubaneswar. Going into the final as the outright favourite the veteran of 2 Olympics, she retired midway into the race due to injury, thus ending her hopes of going to London.
PU Chitra: The name of PU Chitra has been the most talked about in Indian athletics over the last month. The 22-year old was one of the 11 gold medallists in the recently concluded Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar. The Kerala girl won the women’s 1500m in the event in a time of 4:17.92. With the qualification mark for the competition being 4:07.50, the AFI(Athletics Federation of India) decided to omit her from the national squad on grounds of poor performance. Even though winning the Continental Championships gives an athlete a chance for a direct entry in the world championships, the final decision to included the athlete in the national squad still lies in the hands of the athletics federation of the respective country the athlete belongs to. In spite of the court case by Chitra and the court subsequently ruling in her favour to be included in the Indian team for the championships, Chitra will not be travelling with the Indian squad to London due to the officials being adamant of their decision.