Nayana, Chethan cleared for Asian Games

Nayana James and B. Chethan had not achieved the Athletics Federation of India’s qualification standard in the ‘confirmatory trials’ held in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

Kerala long jumper Nayana James has been cleared to go to the Asian Games.   -  Thulasi Kakkat

Kerala long jumper Nayana James, the Asian Championship bronze medallist, and Karnataka high jumper B. Chethan, who did not achieve the AFI’s qualification standard in the ‘confirmatory trials’ held in Thiruvananthapuram on August 15, have been cleared to go to the Asian Games.

But javelin thrower Annu Rani, a bronze medallist at the last Asiad in Incheon, along with 1500m runner Monika Choudhary have been dropped from the Indian squad for Jakarta.
The AFI’s selection committee, which met in New Delhi on Friday, cleared Neena – the Asian championship silver medallist who had made the cut with her 6.38m effort – and took a soft stand over Nayana (6.24m) along with Chethan (2.11m) as the trials were held under heavy rain and windy conditions.

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The AFI had set 6.34m in women’s long jump and 2.25m in men’s high jump as its   qualification standard for the Asiad. Both the athletes had achieved this in earlier meets.
“But Annu Rani and Monika Chaudhary, who failed to make the grade, will not go,” said C.K. Valson, the AFI Secretary, told Sportstar on Friday evening. “And shot putter Naveen Chikkara will be given another chance to qualify (on Monday).”

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Meanwhile Kerala’s 400m hurdler Anu Raghavan, who had clocked 57.43s (qual. std 57.52) in the trials at the Czech Republic, also confirmed her Jakarta berth along with Sarita Ben (57.04) who is already a member of the women’s 4x400m relay team. Juana Murmu made the cut in the hurdles. Sarita’s entry, however, had not been sent to the organisers earlier and the AFI is now trying to include her name. If it succeeds, one of the two might be dropped from the hurdles since only two can compete.

Quartermiler Nirmala Sheoran, also part of the Indian 400m camp in Prague, along with 50km race walker Sandeep Kumar and women’s discus thrower Sandeep Kumari have also been cleared.

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