Tamil Nadu eyes good show in Inter-State meet

While only a maximum of three athletes per state are allowed to compete in an event, Tamil Nadu has been given special permission by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to field five in men’s 400m.
Tamil Nadu eyes good show in Inter-State meet
Tamil Nadu Athletics Association president WI Davaram (left) and secretary C Latha at the pre-meet press conference

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu stars will pit their wits against the best from the rest of the country as the 61st National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships begins on Friday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.

Long jumper Jeswin Aldrin, Arokia Rajiv (men’s 400m), men’s pole vault national record holder Subramania Siva and S Dhanalakshmi (women’s 200m) are some of the top attractions in the Tamil Nadu contingent. While only a maximum of three athletes per state are allowed to compete in an event, Tamil Nadu has been given special permission by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to field five in men’s 400m.

“Arokia Rajiv, Naganathan Pandi and Barath [Sridhar] have been included [in the Tamil Nadu squad] since all of them are national campers,” Tamil Nadu Athletic Association (TNAA) secretary C Latha said on the sidelines of a media interaction here on Thursday.

However, it is learnt that only four Tamil Nadu runners (Santhosh Kumar is the other athlete besides the trio) would take to the track as Rajesh Ramesh – whose name has been registered – is injured. “We (Tamil Nadu) are confident of a good show,” added Latha.

Meanwhile, top women athletes such as Hima Das (100m and 200m, Assam), Dutee Chand (100m, Odisha) and Jyothi Yarraji (100m hurdles, Andhra Pradesh) will fight for top honours. Muhammed Anas Yahiya (400m, Kerala), M Sreeshankar (long jump, Kerala) and Tajinderpal Singh Toor (shot put, Punjab) are some of the men to keep an eye on.

The five-day Inter-State meet holds immense significance as it is the last selection for the World Championships to be held at Oregon, United States, in July, and the Commonwealth Games to be hosted at Birmingham, United Kingdom, in July-August.

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