Anas, Arokia Rajiv among national camp absentees to be excluded from national squad

AFI sends a strong message to athletes skipping national camps by ignoring them for next month's Asian indoor championships and Asian Games test event.

Arokia Rajiv was ignored from the national squad as he did not attend the national camp.   -  K. Murali Kumar

The Athletics Federation of India has sent a strong message to athletes who are skipping national camps by virtually ignoring them for next month’s Asian indoor championships in Tehran and the Asian Games test event in Jakarta.

Some big names including Asian 400m champions Muhammed Anas, Nirmala Sheoran along with Arokia Rajiv, M.R. Poovamma, Anilda Thomas and R. Anu – all athletes who have been staying away from National camps – are missing from the Indian team for the two meets.

“We have considered athletes who are in the camp, we know about their form and fitness. Almost all the non-campers have been ignored for the two meets,” Chief national coach Bahadur Singh told Sportstar  from Patiala on Thursday evening.

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Will this serve as a warning for athletes who are skipping national camps?

“Yes, you are very right, because in camps, we know about the athletes’ fitness, when they are not in national camps, you are not sure about their fitness levels,” he said.

The Indian team is heavy in jumps and throws events and Bahadur Singh said that the AFI also considered the fact that it should not be disturbing the track athletes’ training very much at this stage.

“It will be okay in the field events but in track events, it could hamper their preparation for this year’s Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.”