Free Press Journal

Gowda, Arpinder, Luka in Asian Games athletics team


Vikas Gowda

New Delhi: Strong medal prospects Arpinder Singh, Vikas Gowda and Tintu Luka were today named in a 56-member Indian athletics team, which included 30 women, for next month’s Asian Games in South Korea.

110m hurdler Siddhanth Thingalaya, who won gold in the just-concluded Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships with a national record-equalling 13.65secs effort, discus throwers Krishna Poonia and Seema Punia, 400m runner M R Poovamma were also some of the medal prospects who found place in the Incheon-bound team.

20km race walker Gurmeet Singh, who won a bronze in the Asian Championships earlier in the year, and Glasgow Commonwealth Games participant hammer thrower Kamalpreet Singh have failed to get the nod of the selection committee of the Athletics Federation of India, which met here today.

“The selection committee took into consideration a slew of factors such as the dismal performance of some of the athletes at the Commonwealth Games 2014, the current form of some of the leading athletes and the performance at the Federation Cup before finalising the team,” the AFI said in a release.

2010 Asian Games gold medallists Sudha Singh (women’s 3000m steeplechase), Joseph Abraham (men’s 400m hurdle), Ashwini Akkunji (women’s 400m hurdles) and Preeja Shreedharan (women’s 10000m) have also been named in the team.

The team was announced on the last day of the deadline to name the final list after Indian Olympic Association sought extension from the Incheon organisers on the request of the AFI.

The deadline to name the final list had ended on August 15, according to an IOA source.

Three athletes — triple jumper Renjith Maheswary, Mayookha Johny (long jump and triple jump) and shot putter Om Prakash Karhana — have been asked to give another trial at the NIS Patiala on September 15. They have been included in the 56-member list, subject to trials.

The trio had come up with below-par performances in the Federation Cup at the NIS Patiala, which also served as the selection trials for the Asian Games.