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Out of national set-up, 4x100m relay team scores big

The Athletics Federation of India had announced a 51-member team for the Championships in Doha from 21-24 April, but as many as 23 were named in the list subject to trials.

other-sports Updated: Apr 15, 2019 00:18 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times, Patiala
File image of Indian sprinter Dutee Chand.
File image of Indian sprinter Dutee Chand.(AFP)
         

While most athletes who are not part of the national camps failing to hit even their season’s best during the confirmatory trials for the forthcoming Asian Championships, held at National Institute of Sports, Patiala, on Saturday, the saving grace came from the women sprinters, who attained the 4X100m relay qualification mark despite not being counted talented enough to be included in the national camp by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).

The Athletics Federation of India had announced a 51-member team for the Championships in Doha from 21-24 April, but as many as 23 were named in the list subject to trials. A final list will be selected on Monday.

The relay team, with the exception of Dutee Chand, is fairly new to the senior level, but they clocked an impressive 44.12 seconds, well within the Asian qualification mark of 44.50 seconds.

With Chand running anchor, the other sprinters were Archana Suseendran, Ranga K and Hina. Left out of the national set-up, they all train on their own accord, except for a two-week training module when they were placed together at the national camp in Patiala after their performance at the Federation Cup in March.

“The main area of concern in the relay is the coordination between the athletes while exchanging the baton and this part can make a lot of difference in the overall performance,” Chand says. “As we could only get two weeks to train together, we only focused on this aspect and thankfully we were able to deliver in the trials.”

Chand’s coach N Ramesh, who is also in-charge of the relay team, is optimistic after Saturday’s performance. “If the girls are able to repeat the Patiala trials performance in Doha, then there are chances of making it to the Asian Championship podium,” he said.

At the last edition of the Championships in 2017, China had won silver with a timing of 44.50. India, with Chand in the team, came third with 44.57.

“Hopefully a medal finish in Doha will get us a chance to be part of the national camp for a longer time. Because the facilities here at the camp are far better what we can afford ourselves,” said Hina, who hails from Rajasthan and trains at Jaipur.

The Athletics Federation’s reason for leaving women sprinters out of the national camp is that they do not meet the performance criteria. “We go by the performance criteria while including a discipline/athlete in the national camp. But if the girls perform better in Doha, the federation might consider them for the national camp in future,” said deputy national chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair.

Qualification woes

In the individual events, except for Gomti Marimuthu in 800m, all other athletes failed to reach the qualification standards. Gomti, whose season best was 2:03.21, attained the qualifying mark (2:05.00) by clocking 2:04.17.

The main disappointment came from triple jumper Parveen Chithrovel, whose season’s best is 16.51m, but whose best jump during the qualifiers was 14.92m.

Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur, whose season best is 60.25m, could only throw 56.03m, while Navjeet Kaur, who is part of the national camp, threw 56.32m, short of the qualifying mark of 58.50m.

First Published: Apr 14, 2019 22:44 IST

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