Chitra may not make it to London despite HC's directive

“It’s too late, the computer system for entries has shut down,” said a top AFI official. “We can’t do anything about it.”

P.U. Chitra may have received the HC directive a little too late.   -  AFP


Despite the Kerala High Court passing an interim directive to the Centre and the Athletics Federation of India to take steps to ensure that Asian champion P.U. Chitra runs in next month’s World Athletics Championships in London, it may have come a little too late.

“It’s too late, the computer system for entries has shut down,” said a top AFI official. “We can’t do anything about it.”

Chitra, who had won the 1500m gold at the recent Asian Championships, had moved the court after she found her name missing from the Indian team for the Worlds, which begin on August 4. The Asian gold had made her eligible to compete in the Worlds as the regional champion.

But the AFI’s selection committee felt that since her time was not anywhere close to the qualification standard (the main route to get into the Worlds) fixed by the world body IAAF, she did not deserve a place in the team. Chitra had also lost to West Bengal’s Lili Das in the Inter-State Nationals in Guntur a few days after her Asians triumph.


Dutee Chand may be able to compete at the World Championships as IAAF has relaxed the time criteria for qualification.   -  Biswaranjan Rout


But Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand, who failed to qualify for the Worlds, is likely to make it to London.

With the IAAF making the entry standard for the women’s 100m tougher for the Worlds (11.26s, for Olympics it was 11.32s), not many had made the cut for London.

The IAAF had kept 56 slots for the women’s 100m but with more than a dozen spots vacant, it relaxed the rules a bit. Dutee, who is in the 43rd spot in the world list this season with her 11.30s, has been offered a berth.

“We have accepted this but we have asked the national coach to look into Dutee’s current form and fitness before confirming her entry,” said the official.

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.