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AFI clears Sreeshankar and Irfan for Tokyo

Point to prove: K.T. Irfan has the wherewithal to justify his selection for Tokyo, his coach believes.   | Photo Credit: K_V_SRINIVASAN

The Athletics Federation of India has cleared long jumper M. Sreeshankar and race walker K.T. Irfan for the Olympics after their coaches submitted written assurance their athletes would produce at least their qualification performance in Tokyo.

The AFI conducted “fitness trials” for the two athletes in Bengaluru recently and made it clear that it was not happy with their form.

Sreeshankar, who qualified for Tokyo after breaking his own National record with an 8.26m jump in the Federation Cup in March, had jumped 7.48m in his trials a couple of days ago.

“But there was no officially-set target for the trials, that was the problem, that was the only reason they managed to slip out. The selection committee said we should have informed them in writing earlier what they should jump or what the target was,” Adille Sumariwalla told The Hindu on Friday evening.

“The coaches (Sreeshankar's dad S. Murali and walks' Alexander Artsybashev) said it was one bad day (at the trials) and that they would reproduce the qualification standard.

“We asked them whether they were ready to take the responsibility. They said yes and we asked them to give it in writing. Action will be taken against the coaches if they don't,” Sumariwalla said.

Warning

That could also be a warning to all the coaches in the team. Sreeshankar was part of the first athletics batch, a 28-member group that included 18 athletes, that left for Tokyo on Friday evening.


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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 1:58:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/afi-clears-sreeshankar-and-irfan-for-tokyo/article35500642.ece

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