Top sprinters to skip Asian Indoor meet | other | Hindustan Times
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Top sprinters to skip Asian Indoor meet

The country’s top sprinters, including the 400m runners, have decided to skip the Asian Indoor Track and Field meet, which begins in the Chinese city of Hangzhou from February 18. Even the top women middle and long distance runners will miss the two-day continental meet, which is a qualifying event for the London Olympics.

other Updated: Feb 10, 2012 00:11 IST
HT Correspondent

The country’s top sprinters, including the 400m runners, have decided to skip the Asian Indoor Track and Field meet, which begins in the Chinese city of Hangzhou from February 18. Even the top women middle and long distance runners will miss the two-day continental meet, which is a qualifying event for the London Olympics.

The development comes despite the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) having invested a huge amount of money over the last two years to build the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams (men and women).

Skipping the Hangzhou event means that the players will miss out on a chance to win a berth for the London Games. Also, they will not get to represent the Asian team in the World Indoor meet, beginning March 9, at Istanbul.

Given the scenario, the AFI plans to send a handful of second-string athletes to China. Among those short-listed is Bineesh Jacob.

The pole vaulter is yet to cross the five-meter mark in training or competition. And, going by the facilities in the country, it will be an uphill task for him to achieve even the ‘B’ Olympic qualification mark of 5.60m in China.

The other athletes recommended by the AFI for the season’s first international meet are also wide off the mark. Asked about the details of the team, AFI director, ML Dogra, refused to share information, saying, “The federation will send a release.”

The only exception in the proposed list is long jumper Mayookha Johny. She has already achieved an Olympic berth in triple jump, and plans to achieve the same in long jump too.