AFI clears Sreeshankar and Irfan for Tokyo Olympics

A below-par performance in Tokyo could result in action against the coaches of the athletes.

Published : Jul 23, 2021 19:56 IST , Kochi

Sreeshankar had jumped 7.48m in his trials, below-par by his standards.
Sreeshankar had jumped 7.48m in his trials, below-par by his standards.

Sreeshankar had jumped 7.48m in his trials, below-par by his standards.

The Athletics Federation of India cleared long jumper M. Sreeshankar and race walker K.T. Irfan for the Olympics after their coaches gave a written assurance that their athletes would produce at least their qualification performance in Tokyo.

The AFI conducted trials for the two athletes in Bengaluru recently and though it said that it was just 'fitness trials', the federation made it clear that it was not happy with their form.

Sreeshankar, who qualified for Tokyo after breaking his own national record with an 8.26m jump in the Federation Cup in March, had jumped 7.48m in his trials a couple of days ago.


“But there was no officially-set target for the trials, that was the problem, that was the only reason how they managed to slip out. The selection committee said we should have informed them in writing earlier what they should jump or what the target was,” Adille Sumariwalla told Sportstar on Friday.

“The coaches (Sreeshankar's dad S. Murali and walks' Alexander Artsybashev) said that it was one bad day (at the trials) and they will reproduce the qualification standard. We asked them whether they are ready to take the responsibility. They said yes and we asked them to give it in writing. Action will be taken against the coaches if they don't.”

That could also be a warning to all the coaches in the team.

The first batch in athletics, a 28-member group which includes 18 athletes, left for Tokyo on Friday evening.

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