Neeraj Chopra to lead 37-member athletics team in Commonwealth Games

Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will lead a 37-member Indian athletics team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

FILE PHOTO: Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will headline the Indian contingent in the CWG.   -  Getty Images

The Athletics Federation of India named a 37-member squad headlined by Neeraj Chopra for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games with quite a few entrants being subject to achieving the qualifying mark in Kazakhstan later this month.

Missing out was long jumper Jeswin Aldrin despite achieving the AFI-set standard at the Federation Cup in April and marathoner Srinu Bugatha who had done the same in January.

READ: Denied CWG spot despite meeting qualification standard, Tejaswin Shankar has no regrets

High jumper Tejaswin Shankar, who cleared the 2.27m mark in the NCAA recently, was not considered. The Indian contingent is expected to participate in the XXXI Qosanov Memorial, a World Athletics Continental Tour event, in Kazakhstan on June 25-26 before the final list.

“There are a few athletes we have included whose performances we are not satisfied with and their entries will be subject to achieving the standard in Kazakhstan,” AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said. These include shot-putter Tajinder Pal Singh Toor and discus thrower Seema Punia.

The 19 men and 18 women include javelin throwers Rohit Yadav and Manu DP, Avinash Sable in 3000m steeplechase and triple jumpers Abdulla Aboobacker, Praveen Chitravel, Eldhose Paul besides long jumpers Sreshankar and Md. Anees Yahiya. “We have a quota of 36 and we are seeking assistance from the Indian Olympic Association to increase our quota and secure accreditation for a couple of athletes,” Sumariwalla added.

Among those whose participation will be subject to fitness are Bhavana Jat in the 10k walk and quartermiler Amoj Jacob, who got injured at the Inter-State meet recently. Sable, Sumariwalla said, would be entered in the 5000m as well subject to the programme schedule at CWG.

Asked about the missing names, Sumariwalla was categorical. “Jeswin has been constantly slipping in the last four meets. Tejaswin neither sought an exemption from participating in Inter-State meet nor permission to train and perform abroad despite us being in constant touch with him. Our rules are very clear,” he explained.

Interestingly, Srabani Nanda, training in Jamaica for the last few years, has been included in the 4x100m relay although AFI rules also state that no non-camper would be considered for relay teams. “She had our permission to train abroad,” AFI Planning Committee chairman Lalit Bhanot said, adding that even Jilna and Dutee were training separately with permission. “They are all in camp now and will train together,” he added.

The squad
Men:
Avinash Sable (3000SC, 5000m), Amoj Jacob, Moah Nirmal Tom, Arokia Rajiv, Md. Ajmal, Naganathan Pandi, Rajesh Remesh (4x400m relay), Nitender Rawat (marathon), Neeraj Chopra, Manu DP, Rohit Yadav (javelin throw), M. Sreeshankar, Md. Anees Yahiya (long jump), Abdulla Aboobacker, Praveen Chitravel, Eldhose Paul (triple jump), Sandeep Kumar, Amit (10km walk).

Women: Dhanalakshmi (100m, 4x100m relay), Jyothi Yarraji (100mH), Manpreet Kaur (shot put), Annu Rani (javelin), Aishwarya B (long jump, triple
jump), Ancy Sojan (long jump), Bhavna Jat, Priyanka Goswamy (10km
walk), Hima Das, Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, Jilna MV, Simi NS (4x100m
relay).

Conditional entries: Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (shot put), Navjeet Kaur and Seema Punia (discus throw), Sarita R. Singh and Manju Bala Devi (hammer throw), Shilpa Rani (javelin).

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