Indian athletics body’s delay set to cost 50km walkers London worlds entry
The Athletics Federation of India’s delay in applying to the world body has led to the qualifying event not being approved.other sports Updated: Jun 23, 2017 19:44 IST
The Indian men’s 50km race walkers are likely to miss the August world athletics championships in London because the approval for the nationals held here in February as a qualifying event wasn’t obtained three months in advance as required.
Three athletes met the qualifying mark for the London meet in the nationals, but the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has refused to recognise the nationals as it was not notified three months in advance as required by rules.
Top three meet mark
The top three finishers, led by national record holder Sandeep Kumar, met the qualification mark of 4 hours 06 minutes set for the August 4-13 championships, but are in a quandary as there is no fresh 50km event before the entry deadline of July 23 for them to achieve the qualification mark.
It is learnt the AFI did apply to the IAAF to approve it as a qualifying event, but not three months in advance. The world body’s requirement is to include the event in its calendar and likely put anti-doping protocol in place.
The AFI though had appointed two international race walk judges and got the course measured by an approved IAAF official, as required by the world body.
AFI chief not optimistic
AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said the federation has appealed afresh to the world body, but there has been no response. “At this moment, it looks doubtful our athletes will compete in the 50km race walk,” he told HT.
National champion Sandeep Kumar improved his national record clocking 3 hours, 55 minutes 59.05 seconds. His previous mark of 3:58.22 secs came in China in 2014. Jitender Singh (4:02:11.58 secs) and Chandan Singh (4:04.18.41 secs) finished second and third respectively.
Top competitors in men’s 20km walk also met the qualifying mark of 1:24.00 in the nationals. However, they got fresh opportunities to achieve the entry standard. KT Irfan, Gurmeet Singh, Manish Rawat and Devender Singh as well as woman walker Kushbir Kaur qualified from meets subsequently held in Japan and China.