Athletics

CWG: AFI’s new strategy to tackle athletes who skip camps

Nirmala Sheoran. File Photo.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has come up with a new strategy to tackle athletes, especially the top quartermilers, who have been skipping national camps.

It is unlikely to include them in the Indian relay teams for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, in April.

“We will not be including them in the relay team. If they qualify, they can take part in the individual events,” AFI secretary C.K. Valson told The Hindu on Wednesday. “The relay teams will be announced soon.”

With one Indian relay team or the other being disqualified in every major meet, the national body appears to be firm this time. And with Asian women’s 400m champion Nirmala Sheoran virtually untraceable and with the big news of prominent javelin thrower Davinder Singh Kang testing positive coming in, the federation is likely to be cautious and careful.

The results of Tuesday’s Indian Grand Prix in Patiala where Asian champion Muhammed Anas (personal best 45.32s), who has stayed away from the national camp, finished fifth in his heat with a miserable 51.22s and where internationals like Anilda Thomas and Anu Raghavan were overshadowed by national campers Sonia Baishya (West Bengal) and Sarita Ben Gayakwad (Gujarat), could further strengthen AFI’s hands.

Despite the AFI shifting the quartermilers’ national camp from Patiala to Thiruvananthapuram where Anas, Anilda and Anu train, the trio trained separately under Kerala Sports Council coach P.B. Jaikumar.

Jaikumar explained that his athletes could not settle down in the conditions in Patiala during the Indian Grand Prix as the weather back home was very hot.

“We will be back to form at the Federation Cup (beginning in Patiala on March 5),” said Jaikumar from Patiala. “I had asked my athletes to join the national camp earlier but they wanted to train with me.”

Meanwhile, another Kerala quartermiler, National inter-university silver medallist V.K. Vismaya is expected to run in the Federation Cup and also join the national camp which has now moved to Patiala.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 6:10:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/cwg-afis-new-strategy-to-tackle-athletes-who-skip-camps/article22881222.ece

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