Relief for Karnataka athletes after AFI's nod to state entries

The AFI granted 24 athletes from the state entries to the event, issuing them with bib numbers. However, they will compete under the AFI banner, not KAA's.

The Open Nationals will be held in Ranchi from October 10 to 13 and the KAA Secretary A. Rajaveluthat said that he is relieved the hard work of his athletes will not go to waste. (File Photo)   -  JIGNESH MISTRY

In what has come as a relief to the state's athletes, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has finally granted entries to competitors from Karnataka for the 59th Open Nationals. The AFI had suspended the Karnataka Athletics Association (KAA) for pulling out of hosting the Open Nationals, and originally stated that athletes from the state would thus be unable to take part in the event.

However, the AFI appears to have relented.

On Tuesday, after repeated requests from the KAA, the AFI granted 24 athletes from the state entries to the event, issuing them with bib numbers. However, they will compete under the AFI banner, and not that of Karnataka.

ALSO READ | Karnataka Athletics Association makes plea to AFI

The Open Nationals will be held in Ranchi from October 10 to 13. "I'm relieved that the hard work of our athletes will not go to waste," said KAA Secretary A. Rajavelu.

"It does not matter that they will not represent Karnataka. As long as they are able to take part, I'm happy."

Meanwhile, the DYES is set to begin work on relaying the track at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium soon. "A bid has been approved. Work will begin shortly," said one DYES official.

The Karnataka athletes (to represent AFI):

A.S. Anju, A. Nithyashree, B. Aishwarya, B.T. Kalavathi, Anusha Poojary, M.G. Padmini, G.K. Vijayakumari, M. Likitha, N.S. Inchara, P.J. Sneha, Medha Kamath, S.B. Supriya, Preenu Yadav, Rohith, S. Lokesh, T.A. Aneesh Muhammad, B.K. Kumaraswamy, Rohan Kumar, Amarnath Dukkarwadkar, K.E. Nidarshan, S. Ajay Kumar, Suhas Gowda, T.H. Devaiah, and Anand V. Haveri.