Inter-state Nationals advanced to June 23 to meet Asian Games entry deadline?

After keeping athletes on the edge for the last few weeks, it looks like the Athletics Federation of India has advanced the dates of the National Inter-State Championships — its qualification meet for the coming Asian Games — from July to June to meet the Asian Games’ entry deadline.

India’s Mohammed Anas, who had been training under Jaikumar at the SAI-LNCPE Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, had been under pressure from the AFI to join the national camp.   -  PTI

After keeping athletes on the edge for the last few weeks, it looks like the Athletics Federation of India has advanced the dates of the National Inter-State Championships — its qualification meet for the coming Asian Games — from July to June to meet the Asian Games’ entry deadline.

The last date for entries in athletics for the Asian Games, in Jakarta from August 18 to September 2, is June 30 but the AFI had scheduled the Inter-State Nationals in Kolkata from July 15 to 18.

“They have now told us that the Inter-State would start on June 23,” P.B. Jaikumar, the coach of Asian champion Muhammed Anas, told Sportstar on Tuesday evening. “That is too early, we would have been comfortable with anything after July 5.”

The AFI Secretary C.K. Valson could not be contacted to confirm the development but speaking to this correspondent earlier in the day, he said that the federation had moved the Olympic Council of Asia too to postpone the Asian Games’s last date for entries.

“The Asian Athletics Association has not replied to our letter yet, probably it is waiting for the OCA’s response,” said Valson.

“But our President Adille Sumariwalla has spoken to the OCA President (Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah of Kuwait) and he has asked for a week’s time for this.”

ANAS JOINS NATIONAL CAMP

Meanwhile, Jaikumar confirmed that 400m star Muhammed Anas, who lit up the Commonwealth Games by breaking his own national record while finishing fourth in Gold Coast recently, has joined the national camp in Patiala.

Anas, who had been training under Jaikumar at the SAI-LNCPE Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, had been under pressure from the AFI to join the national camp.