While it is reliably learnt that the selectors have prepared a tentative list of athletes for the Asian championship scheduled next month in Guangzhou in China, Chief coach Bahadur Singh prefers not to commit himself.
On the eve of the SS Music-National inter-State senior athletic championship Singh was clear that “surely the performance here will have a strong bearing on the final list.”
As per the norms, it is the third-place performance at the last Asian championship that is to be the criteria for selection. As always however, there is room for adjustments and that is where the Chennai meet gains significance.
Be that as it may the general mood among the athletes was varied. There were a few who wished to “clock their personal best,” while some others are keen to erase the memory of a poor show at Bhopal in the National open.
Bibin Mathew remembers the 46.16s run, his personal best in the 400m clocked at the Grand Prix event here and having laid low with fever in Bhopal is keen, not just to make his presence known, but cap it with an even better time.
With S.K. Mortaja, the Bhopal winner in fine fettle, there is promise of a grand contest here.
Joseph Abraham too remembers Chennai fondly for he had come up with a splendid 400 m hurdle run in that GP with a sub-50s finish.
After a disappointment in the World championship in Berlin there is nothing more inspiring than repeat another sub-50s effort and in the process seal his place for the Asian trip in style. That he is raring to go is another piece of good news.
Will there be another rousing show involving P.T. Usha’s ward Tintu Luka and Sinimol Paulose in the 800m after what was witnessed in Bhopal is another question going round.
Tintu got the much awaited recognition in Bhopal and from the looks of Sinimol, who is just recovering from a bout of viral fever, chances are she would have it easy here. “Must better the time I clocked in Bhopal,” is Tintu’s aim.
The triple jumpers Renjith Maheswary and M. A. Prajusha were missing on Tuesday amidst the crowd at the stadium but there will be there to renew their pursuit of higher levels of performance, assured the officials.
As the chief coach put it there is much to look forward to here. Perhaps he had the men’s long jump competition in mind where Maha Singh who had a 7.94 m achieved here in the GP here could outshine all.
Then there is the women’s discus where all three — Seema Antil, Harwant Kaur and Krishna Poonia — have bettered the third place norm of 55.38m.
Krishna still lags behind the other two and a good show for her is important. Perhaps that showed in the rigorous work outs she went through.
There is then lot of exciting action ahead in the next four days. All is set for the occasion with the Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Pratik Prakashbapu Patil to inaugurate the championship.