Asian Championships: Dharun doubtful, Manjit out, Jisna to stay away

Dharun, who has already qualified for the World Championships (in Doha, Sept.-Oct.), had broken his own National record while winning the Asian Games 400m hurdles silver in Jakarta last year.

Dharun Ayyasamy is a crucial member of the mile relay team which won silver at the Jakarta Asiad.   -  R RAGU

He is one of the country’s fastest rising athletes, one who has been on a record-breaking spree. But Tamil Nadu hurdler A. Dharun has suffered an injury and is almost certain to miss the Asian Championships which begin in Doha, Qatar, on April 21.

“Yes, Dharun is injured (shin bone stress fracture) and it will be good for him if he misses the Asians because his recovery will be faster then,” Bahadur Singh, the Chief National Coach, told Sportstar from Patiala on Friday evening.

READ| Dharun Ayyasamy beats own 400m hurdles national record at Fed Cup

“Our target for him is to do something in the Olympics (next year, in Tokyo), he is capable of doing it. But don’t worry, the second boy — Kerala’s M.P. Jabir — is equally good, he is in very good shape.”

Dharun, who has already qualified for the World Championships (in Doha, Sept.-Oct.), had broken his own National record while winning the Asian Games 400m hurdles silver in Jakarta last year and he bettered it in last month’s Federation Cup for the gold in 48.80s. That makes him the world’s fastest hurdler this early season with Jabir occupying the second spot with his 49.53s (Federation Cup) in the world body IAAF’s list.

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Dharun is also a crucial member of the mile relay team which won silver at the Jakarta Asiad.

Bahadur confirmed that Manjit Singh, who won the Jakarta Asiad 800m gold, will not go for the Asians.

“Manjit Singh also won’t be able to participate. I have got information that there is an injury so there is no question of him going. We will not send athletes who will not be able to perform, we will only send people who are medal hopes,” said the chief coach.

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Meanwhile, Jisna Mathew, the 400m bronze medallist at the last Asians in Bhubaneswar in 2017, has pulled out of the women’s 4x400m relay team.

With Debashri Mazumdar, who finished fourth in the Federation Cup (400m) omitted from the team as she was not a National camper, the fifth-placed Jisna was listed as the fourth member of the six-member team when the squad was announced a few weeks ago.

“But a few days ago, the chief coach called me and said that Jisna was in the fifth spot as another girl (V.K. Vismaya) had a better time in the semifinal (53.27s),” explained P.T. Usha, Jisna’s coach. That would mean that Jisna would not be running the relay.

“I told him that the same girl had run the final too (and finished behind Jisna). I also told him that had they told us earlier that they would also consider semifinal timings, we would have only focused on the semifinal and would have even skipped the final.”

“Since they want their own athletes to make the team, I felt it was better for Jisna to skip the Asians and focus on the World Championships. I believe that Jisna (personal best 52.65s, 2017) is capable of running 51-something, she will achieve it,” added Usha.