The Athletics Federation of India had failed to send the entries of M Sreeshankar (in pic) and two other athletes before deadline for the Gold Coast Games.(Twitter)
The Athletics Federation of India had failed to send the entries of M Sreeshankar (in pic) and two other athletes before deadline for the Gold Coast Games.(Twitter)

Once bitten, Indian athletics body advances Asian Games qualifying meet

Athletics Federation of India has advanced the national inter-state meet, the final qualifying event for the Jakarta Asian Games, and also shifted it from Kolkata to Guwahati, which is expected to provide much better conditions for athletes.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 29, 2018 09:24 PM IST

Left red-faced after the Gold Coast Commonweath Games organisers rejected its three late entries, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has advanced the national inter-state championships, has advanced its qualifying meet to meet the deadline for submission of entries for the Jakarata Asian Games (Aug 18-Sept 2).

The national athletics body said in a statement on Sunday that the meet, originally scheduled in Kolkata from July 15-18, has been shifted to Guwahati and will be held from June 26 to 29.

Holding the four-day competition in Guwahati will allow athletes to compete in weather expected to be far less humid than it would be in Kolkata during June.

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The AFI planning commission and national coaches met at the National Institute of Sport (NIS), Patiala, where national camps are held, before the decision was announced in a statement.

Fed Cup muddle

The national body faced embarrassment after it held the Federation Cup – qualifying meet for the Gold Coast CWG in April – from March 5 to 8 despite knowing that the deadline for entires was March 7.

While it had entered most names before the deadline, its late entries of high jumper Siddharth Yadav, who had met the qualifying mark, M Sreeshankar, who missed the mark by a centimetre but was considered a future prospect, and that of woman 400m runner, G Vijayakumari (for 4x400m relay) were rejected.

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While AFI secretary CK Valson initially blamed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the nodal body for sending entries, the CWG organisers responded by saying the athletics body “chose to disregard” the deadline and its late entries won’t be accommodated.

AFI deputy chief coach, Radhakrishnan Nair, said on Sunday: “The last date for sending final entries (by name) to the organising committee for Asian Games is June 30. That is the reason we had to advance the national inter-state meet by almost a month. The competition will serve as the final selection trials for the Asian Games.

The AFI will be more lenient with qualifying standards considering the disruption in training advancing the meet could cause. “We also felt the need to relax the qualifying standards in some of the events due to rescheduling of the competition and it has been done. We are confident that at the Asian Games, we will win more medals compared to the 2014 Incheon Asian Games,” Nair said.

Indian athletes will go abroad for training stints in May and return for the Guwahati meet.

Top athletes like high jumper Tejaswin Shankar, training in the US, and Neeraj Chopra, with training base in Germany, may be exempted from taking part as the AFI has provided a clause for exemption. However, such athletes must achieve the qualifying mark in confirmatory trials to be held on August 15.

AFI QUALIFYING MARKS FOR ASIAN GAMES:

MEN

100m – 10.18secs

200m – 20.87secs

400m – 46.04secs

800m – 1:47.50

1500m – 3:45.00

5000m – 13:50.00

10000m – 29:10.00

Marathon – 2:13.21

110mh – 13.67secs

400mh – 50.80secs

3000m sc – 8:41.40

Pole – 5.45m

HJ – 2.25m

LJ – 7.81m

TJ – 16.62m

Shot – 19.50m

Discus – 61.00m

Javelin – 81m

Hammer – 70.36m

Decathlon -- 7749pts

20km walk – 1 hr 22.00 min

50km walk – 3:55.00

4x100m relay – 38.98secs

4x400m relay -- 3:04.50

WOMEN

100m – 11.67secs

200m – 23.50secs

400m -- 52.47secs

800m -- 2:03.00

1500m -- 4:16.88

5000m -- 15:45.00

10000m -- 33:00.00

Marathon -- 2:33.14

100mh -- 13.39secs

400mh -- 57.52secs

3000m SC -- 9:50.00

Pole -- 4.10m

High Jump -- 1.87m

LJ -- 6.34m

TJ -- 13.75m

Shot -- 17.00m

Discus -- 57.00m

Javelin -- 59.00m

Hammer -- 60.00m

Heptathon – 5400pts

20km walk -- 1:34.54

4X100m relay -- 44.50secs

4X400m relay -- 3:32.50

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