Manjeet Kaur, the national record holder in women's 400 metres, skipped the 60th All India Police Track and Field Meet, which got underway at the Nehru Stadium on Monday.
"It will take me some more time to sharpen my sprinting abilities," was the reason the Punjab Police runner gave for her absence.
However, Manjeet is hopeful of getting back on track in early April, when the season's first domestic competition begins at Patiala. "There are still four weeks to the first Indian Grand Prix race, and I should be able to reach a good level of fitness by then," she told HT from her training base in Jalandhar.
Manjeet was the lone name to escape unscathed in the aftermath of last year's doping scandal, which hit key 400m runners like Sini Jose, Mandeep Kaur, Priyanka Pawar, Tiana Mary Thomas, Jauna Murmu and Ashwini Akkunji.
After lying low for second half of the 2011, Manjeet is back to training. But despite being picked for the core group of athletes for the London Games, the seasoned runner, who has been the mainstay of the national relay team since 2003, has preferred to train in Jalandhar and is yet to attend the national camp in Patiala.
Apart from Manjeet, K Mridula, Ratandeep Kaur, MR Poovamma and Debashree Majumdar are the other runners selected by the Athletics Federation of India for the 4x400m relay squad for the Olympics.