Despite India being home to three of Asia’s five fastest women quartermilers this year, the Athletics Federation of India has chosen to send just one athlete to the event for the Asian Championships which begin in Bangkok on July 12. A country can send two athletes in each event.
Aishwarya Mishra, who won her heats in 52.85s but was later disqualified in the Federation Cup final for lane infringement, will be the lone athlete in the women’s 400m. Priya Mohan, the Federation Cup champion, is now out with health issues and is likely to return to training after a month.
Surprisingly 16-year-old Rezoana Mallick Heena who took the under-18 Asian title in an impressive 52.98s towards the end of April and who later won the under-20 Asian crown, does not find a place in the individual 400m but has been offered a berth in the women’s and mixed 4x400m relays.
The team includes stars like long jumpers M. Sreeshankar, Jeswin Aldrin and Shaili Singh, javelin thrower Annu Rani, Asian shot put record-holder Tajinderpal Singh Toor, Asian Games 1500m champion Jinson Johnson and decathlete Tejaswin Shankar.
With this year being packed with many majors including the World Championships and Asian Games, the AFI has decided to keep Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and Commonwealth Games 3000m steeple chase silver medallist Avinash Sable out of the Asian meet.
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