Indian 400m runner Muhammed Anas an injury doubt for Asian Athletics Championships | other sports | Hindustan Times
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Indian 400m runner Muhammed Anas an injury doubt for Asian Athletics Championships

The national 400m record holder, Muhammed Anas, is uncertain for the July 6-9 Asian Athletics Championships to be held in Bhubaneswar, though he has been included in the Indian squad.

other sports Updated: Jun 28, 2017 22:06 IST
Navneet Singh
Muhammed Anas is the national 400 metres record holder.
Muhammed Anas is the national 400 metres record holder.(Reuters)

With barely a week to go for the Asian athletics championships, India’s national record holder in men’s 400m, Mohammad Anas, looks doubtful for the meet due to nagging injury.

The Kerala quarter-miler set a national 400m record of 45.32 seconds in hot and humid conditions, in the third leg of the Indian Grand Prix held here on May 15, achieving the 45.50 secs entry standard for the August world championships in London.

Thereafter, there was a sudden decline in his form. Chief national coach Bahadur Singh blamed stiff leg muscles for the runner skipping the confirmatory trials held in Patiala on Saturday to evaluate the fitness of athletes bound for the Asian meet.

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During the initial trials, Kuhnu Mohammad led the field clocking 46.63 seconds. Mohan Kumar (47.18 secconds) and Sachin Roby 47.20 seconds were second and third respectively.

Despite missing vital training sessions for almost a month in the build-up to the major competition on home soil, Bahadur Singh was optimistic. “We expect him (Anas) to be fit for the race,” he said.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) though has included Anas in the 95-member squad announced on Wednesday, which includes 48 women. A few athletes, including top discus thrower, Vikas Gowda, will have to undergo trials to be confirmed for the meet.

Skipping races

After setting the national record in May, Anas hasn’t been impressive. He pulled out of the 400m semifinals at the Federation Cup meet held in Patiala in the first week of June.

In that meet, Anas was the hot favourite, having set a national record of 45.32 secs the previous month. The Navyman won his heats at 48.24 seconds. However, next day he surprised everyone by pulling out of the semifinal, having showed no discomfort while sprinting down the home stretch in the preliminary heat.

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Anas said he skipped the semifinals due to a stiff lower back.

Anti-doping squad

However, there is suspicion Anas opted out to avoid being subjected to dope test. With the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) officials testing all winners, Anas too would have been asked to provide sample had he won. “The only way out was to withdraw from the event,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

The chief coach denied that was the case. “All the athletes are regularly tested and results are negative,” the former Asian Games shot put champion said.

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Indian athletics courted a fresh doping controversy after several vials of the banned drug Meldonium and syringes were seized from a bag belonging to 400m hurdler Jithin Paul at his Patiala hostel room by a NADA inspection team.

Meldonium hit global headlines after Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova was handed a 15-month ban for a violation before recently returning to action. As the substance is not available in the country, officials suspect some of the athletes travelling to Eastern Europe for training or competition could be acquiring it.

The squad:

Men:

100/200m: Amiya Kumar Mallick, 400m: Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv, 800m: Jinson Johnson, Vishambhar Keolkar, 1500m: Ajay Kumar Saroj, Siddhantha Adhikari, 5000m: G Lakshmanan, Murli Kumar Gavit, 10000m: Lakshmanan, Gopi Thonakal, Kalidas Hirave, 3000m steeplechase: Naveen Kumar, Durga Bahadur Budha, 110m hurdles: Siddhant Thingalaya*, Prem Kumar, 400m hurdles: Jabir MP, Santhosh Kumar T, Durgesh Kumar Pal, Pole vault: S Siva, High jump: Chethan B, Ajay Kumar, Long jump: Ankit Sharma, Samsheer SE, Siddharth Mohan Naik*, Triple jump: Arpinder Singh, Karthik U*, Shot put: Tajinder Pal Toor, Jasdeep Singh Dhillon, Omprakash Singh Karhana, Discus: Vikas Gowda*, Dharamraj Yadav, Kirpal Singh, Hammer: Niraj Kumar. Javelin throw: Neeraj Chopa, Davinder Singh Kang and Abhishek Singh, Decathlon: Jagtar Singh, Abhishek Shetty, 4x100m relay: Amiya Mallick, Jyotishankar Debnath, Anuroop John, VK Elakkiya Dasan, Pravin Muthukumaran, Chintha Sudhakar, 4x400m relay: Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv, Sachin Roby, Mohan Kumar and Kunju Muhammed.

Women:

100/200m: Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, 400m: Nirmala, MR Poovamma, Jisna Mathew, 800m: Tintu Luka, Archana Adhav, Lili Das, 1500m: Monika Choudhary, 5000m: L Suriya, Sanjivani Jadhav, 10,000m: L Suriya, Sanjivani Jadhav, Meenu, 3000m steeplechase: Sudha Singh, Parul Chaudhary, 100m hurdles: Nayana James*, 400m hurdles: Anu R, Jauna Murmu, Arpitha M, Pole vault: KM Sangeeta, High jump: Sahana Kumari, Swapna Barman, Long jump: Nayana James*, Neena V, G Karthika, Triple jump: Sheena NV, Joyline Murali Lobo*, Shot put: Manpreet Kaur, Ramanpreet Kaur, Anamika Das, Discus: Kamalpreeet Kaur Bal, Seema Punia, Himani Singh, Hammer throw: Sarita R Singh and Gunjan Singh, Javelin: Annu Rani, Poonam Rani Singh, Suman Devi, Heptathlon: Swapna Barman, Purnima Hembram, Liksy Joseph; 4x100m relay: Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, Merlin Joseph, Reena George, Ruma Sarkar, Himashree Roy, 4x400m relay: Nirmala, MR Poovamma, Jisna Mathew, Vijayakumari GK, Sarita Ben Gayakwad, Debashree Mazumdar.

* to undergo trials