Athletics

National Inter-State: Athletes look for Asian Games berth

Tips from the champion: Hima Das, seen with P.T. Usha, will be eagerly watched.

Tips from the champion: Hima Das, seen with P.T. Usha, will be eagerly watched.   | Photo Credit: RituRajKonwar

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Many who have been abroad may benefit from their dedicated training without any distractions

The 58th National inter-State athletics championships, which will be the selection trials for the upcoming Asian Games, promises fine performances and new records despite the exemption given to javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and discus thrower Seema Punia.

Though the championships, starting here on Tuesday amidst monsoon rains, is mandatory for those who aspire to be among the Asiad-bound 102 athletes (52 men and 50 women), it will not be a surprise if the Athletics Federation of India accommodates some extraordinary performers after this meet.

It is learnt that Seema will be asked to go through “confirmatory trials” to be held on August 15.

Athletes who have been in Poland (400m runners), Bhutan (long-distance) and Finland (javelin) may ‘benefit’ from dedicated training.

The women’s 400m will be the most-anticipated event. Local girl Hima Das, who clocked 51.32 at the CWG in her first season, has baffled many with her showing in 400m and 200m (clocking 23.22 in Poland) and will be eagerly watched.

Nirmala Sheoran should also do well. Even though the AFI is not keen to include her in the relay team, it may not stop Nirmala, who has a personal best of 51.28, if she returns good time. The presence of Jisna Mathew, M.R. Poovamma, Vijayakumari, Soniya Baishya, Nithyashree, V.K. Vismaya, Debashree Majumdar and Jauna Murmu make the field strong.

Muhammed Anas, who clocked a National record of 45.31s in CWG this season, and Arokia Rajiv would look to raise the bar in men’s 400m.

Dutee Chand’s return in sprint, Sudha Singh and Lalita Babar’s comeback in steeplechase, Annu Rani in javelin, Nayana James in long jump and Swapna Barman’s return to heptathlon will be the other highlights.

Tintu Luka, who is nursing an injury, may get another opportunity. Her mentor P.T. Usha is learnt to have requested the AFI to consider her case.

Among men, Jinson Johnson, who will attempt to better National records in 800m and 1,500m, G. Lakshmanan in 5,000m and 10,000m, M. Sreeshankar, who did a 7.99m before falling ill prior to the CWG, in long jump, Arpinder Singh, who will eye the qualifying mark of 16.62m in triple jump and Tejinderpal Singh Toor, who will try to get to the magic figure of 19.50 in shot put will be the primary attractions.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 6:50:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/national-inter-state-athletes-look-for-asian-games-berth/article24255505.ece

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