With only a few weeks to go, The Athletics Federation of India selection committee have announced their 25-member to take part in the 2019 IAAF World Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar, from September 27 to October 6.
With less than a year to go for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the well-prepared squad will carry the hopes of the track and field fans of the country.
The 25-member national team including 16 men and nine women.
The AFI believes that the 4x400m relay teams will all perform better than they did in the World Relays in Yokohama in May last. “We have invested a lot of time in the 400m runners, getting them to train under renowned coach Galina Bukharina. We believe that the squad has been well prepared to deliver the best results on the World stage,” AFI President Adille J Sumariwalla said.
Metric miler Jinson Johnson, who is now training with Coach Scott Simmons in Colarado Springs, United States of America, has caught the eye with his consistency. In the recent months, he improved his own National record in the 1500m twice, first with a time of 3:37.62 in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, on June 15 and then 3:35.24 in Berlin on September 1 to make the grade.
Long jumper M Sreeshankar, among the first Indians to attain the IAAF qualifying standard with a leap of 8.20m in the National Open Championships in Bhubaneswar in September last year, has regained form after a heel injury kept him away from the Asian Championships in Doha in April. He recently found the 8.00m mark again and will gain from competing in the big stage.
The AFI selection committee meeting, chaired by Olympian Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, was attended by AFI President Adille J Sumariwalla, Chief Coach Bahadur Singh, Bahadur Singh Saggu, Krishna Poonia, Praveen Jolly, Uday Prabhu, Paramjit Singh. Former Chief Coach JS Saini and Deputy Chief Coach Radhakrishnan Nair were special invitees.
Men– Jabir MP (400m Hurdles), Jinson Johnson (1500m), Avinash Sable (3000m Steeplechase), KT Irfan and Devender Singh (20km Race Walk), Gopi T (Marathon), Sreeshankar M (Long Jump), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (Shot Put), Shivpal Singh (Javelin Throw), Muhammed Anas, Nirmal Noah Tom, Alex Antony, Amoj Jacob, KS Jeevan, Dharun Ayyasamy and Harsh Kumar (4x400m Men’s & Mixed Relay).
Women– PU Chitra (1500m), Annu Rani (Javelin Throw), Hima Das, Vismaya VK, Poovamma MR, Jisna Mathew, Revathi V, Subha Venkatsan, Vithya R (4x400m Women & Mixed Relay).