Seema Punia’s Asiad berth not in danger

Asian Games champion has AFI president’s permission to skip Inter-State meet.

Woman discus thrower Seema, the country’s lone athletics gold medallist at the last Asian Games in Incheon, will not be competing in Guwahati.   -  AP

After insisting that all athletes, except Commonwealth Games javelin throw champion Neeraj Chopra, must take part in next week’s National inter-State athletics championships in Guwahati to confirm their berths for the coming Asian Games in Jakarta, the Athletics Federation of India appears to have softened its stand for Seema Punia too.

Woman discus thrower Seema, the country’s lone athletics gold medallist at the last Asian Games in Incheon, will not be competing in Guwahati but her place in the Asiad team is not in any danger.

“Seema will not be taking part but she has got permission from the AFI president (Adille Sumariwalla),” Radhakrishnan Nair, the Deputy Chief National Coach, told Sportstar from New Delhi on Saturday evening.

“She does not want her training to be disturbed and moreover, she has proved herself in the recent Commonwealth Games (where she won silver).”

But nobody knows for sure where the Haryana athlete currently is. “She is not in the country, I think she is somewhere in Russia but I am not sure about it,” said Radhakrishnan.

The coach also said that javelin thrower Vipin Kasana, who finished fifth in the Commonwealth Games, would miss the inter-State meet with an injury.