NEW DELHI: The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Thursday named a 37-member squad, to be led by Olympic gold medal-winning javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, for the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Out of the 37 picked by the AFI selection committee, 18 are women, including Hima Das and Dutee Chand who are part of the 4x100m relay team. Tamil Nadu’s S Dhanalakshmi has been selected for both 100m and 4x100m relay. Meanwhile, Avinash Sable, who broke the 3000m steeplechase national record for the eighth time recently, as well as Jyothi Yarraji, who shattered the 100m hurdles NR twice last month, have been picked too.
The squad also has triple jumper B Aishwarya, who came up with a stunning 14.14m effort at the recent National Inter-State Senior Championships in Chennai. However, 200m NR holder Amlan Borgohain, who won a sprint double (100m and 200m) at the Inter-State meet, missed the bus as he could not reach the CWG qualifying standard set by the AFI.
Although selected, some of the athletes will have to prove their form or fitness prior to the Birmingham Games. Veteran discus thrower Seema Punia has been given a chance to feature in her fifth CWG, considering her past performances in the Games.
Her participation, however, is subject to reaching the qualifying standard set by the AFI in a competition in the USA. There will be three Indians in men’s javelin throw, with DP Manu and Rohit Yadav joining Neeraj. Same is the case for men’s triple jump, with Abdulla Aboobacker, Praveen Chithravel and Eldhose Paul making it to the squad.
“We request the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to increase our quota by one and assist in securing accreditation for a couple of athletes. We have also selected a few subject to proving their fitness and form before the Games,” AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said. The AFI has been given a quota of 36 for the July 28-August 8 Games.
SQUAD: MEN: Avinash Sable (3000m steeplechase); Nitender Rawat (Marathon); M Sreeshankar and Muhammed Anees Yahiya (Long jump); Abdulla Aboobacker, Praveen Chithravel and Eldhose Paul (Triple jump); Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Shot put); Neeraj Chopra, DP Manu and Rohit Yadav (Javelin throw); Sandeep Kumar and Amit Khatri (Race walking); Amoj Jacob, Noah Nirmal Tom, Arokia Rajiv, Muhammed Ajmal, Naganathan Pandi and Rajesh Ramesh (all 4x400m relay).
WOMEN: S Dhanalakshmi (100m and 4x100m relay); Jyothi Yarraji (100m hurdles); B Aishwarya (Long jump and Triple jump) and Ancy Sojan (Long jump); Manpreet Kaur (Shot put); Navjeet Kaur Dhilllon and Seema Antil Punia (Discus throw); Annu Rani and Shilpa Rani (Javelin throw); Manju Bala Singh and Sarita Romit Singh (Hammer throw); Bhawna Jat and Priyanka Goswami (Race walking); Hima Das, Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, MV Jilna and NS Simi (all 4x100m relay).