New Delhi: The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) selection committee has picked Hima Das among the 25-member national team comprising 16 men and nine women for the IAAF World Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar, from September 27 to October 6. With less than a year to go for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the squad will carry the hopes of the track and field fans of the country.
The AFI believes that the 4x400m relay teams will all perform better than they did in the World Relays in Yokohama in May last. "We have invested a lot of time in the 400m runners, getting them to train under renowned coach Galina Bukharina. We believe that the squad has been well prepared to deliver the best results on the World stage," AFI President Adille J. Sumariwalla said on Monday.
Metric miler Jinson Johnson, who is now training with Coach Scott Simmons in Colarado Springs, US, has caught the eye with his consistency. In the recent months, he improved his own National record in the 1500m twice, first with a time of 3:37.62 mins in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, on June 15 and then 3:35.24 mins in Berlin on September 1 to make the grade.
Long jumper M. Sreeshankar, among the first Indians to attain the IAAF qualifying standard with a leap of 8.20m in the National Open Championships in Bhubaneswar in September last year, has regained form after a heel injury kept him away from the Asian Championships in Doha in April. He recently found the 8.00m mark again and will gain from competing in the big stage.
While 400m runner Arokia Rajiv is unavailable due to injury, the selectors decided to discuss the case of javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra who is undergoing rehabilitation programme after an elbow surgery at a later stage.Selection committee also approved the names of sprinters Dutee Chand (100m Women), ArchanaSuseentran (200m Women) and high jumper Tejaswin Shankar subject to invitation from IAAF based on their world rankings. The committee also decided to conduct confirmatory trial for quarter miler Anjali Devi for selection in the team in individual women's 400m. The trial will be conducted on 21st September 2019 at NS-NIS Patiala.
The AFI selection committee meeting, chaired by Olympian Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, was attended by AFI President AdilleJ Sumariwalla, Chief Coach Bahadur Singh, Bahadur Singh Saggu, Krishna Poonia, Praveen Jolly,UdayPrabhu, Paramjit Singh. Former Chief Coach JS Saini and Deputy Chief Coach Radhakrishnan Nair were special invitees.
The team: Men: Jabir MP (400m Hurdles), Jinson Johnson (1500m), Avinash Sable (3000m Steeplechase), KT Irfan and Devender Singh (20km Race Walk), Gopi T (Marathon),Sreeshankar M (Long Jump), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (Shot Put), Shivpal Singh (Javelin Throw), Muhammed Anas, Nirmal Noah Tom, Alex Antony, Amoj Jacob, KS Jeevan, Dharun Ayyasamy and Harsh Kumar (4x400m Men's & MixedRelay). Women: PU Chitra (1500m),Annu Rani (Javelin Throw), Hima Das, Vismaya VK, Poovamma MR, Jisna Mathew, Revathi V, SubhaVenkatsan, Vithya R (4x400m Women & Mixed Relay).