The entry list for the coming Federation Cup athletics has been released and one of the big names missing is 400m national record holder Muhammed Anas.
The 27-year-old, a member of the Indian team which broke the Asian record in the men's 4x400m relay at last year's Tokyo Olympics and which finished seventh at the 2019 Worlds in the mixed relay, had also missed the recent first two Indian Grand Prix legs in Thiruvananthapuram.
So, what has happened to Anas?
“Anas had an injury and was getting treated from November. He started training seriously only a month back,” National chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair told Sportstar on Wednesday.
March 30: Indian sports news wrap of the day
The quartermiler, who was also a part of the team which won the 2018 Asian Games mixed relay gold and men's 4x400m relay silver in Jakarta, is likely to open his competition season in May.
Radhakrishnan also revealed that V.K. Vismaya, another member of the mixed relay team which finished seventh at the 2019 Doha Worlds, was down with COVID-19 in early February and finished her post-COVID treatment only on March 15 as per the Sports Authority of India's SOP.
Vismaya, who had helped India win the 2018 Asian Games women's 4x400m relay gold, was fifth in the 400m with a mediocre 55.03s in her season-opener at the Indian GP-2 in Thiruvananthapuram on March 23.
Her name does not figure in the entry list for the Federation Cup which begins at Malappuram on April 2.
Also missing in the women's 400m is Priya H. Mohan, Asia's fastest quartermiler this year with her recent 52.37s and the winner of the first two Indian GP legs.
“We are skipping the 400m because we don't want to do all the six races (first round, semifinal and final in 200m and 400m). We wanted to work on speed so we opted for the 200m,” said Arjun Ajay, Priya's coach. But with just 15 entries in women's 200m and 18 in 400m, there could be just two rounds each in these events.