Olympic gold medalist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra is set to lead the 37-member Indian athletics team, for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as announced by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Thursday. Out of the 37 athletes selected by the AFI, 18 are women including stars like Dutee Chand and Hima Das.
The team also includes national record-holders like Avinash Sable, who broke his own national record in the 3000m steeplechase event for the eighth time recently. Similarly, the squad also stars Jyothi Yarraji, who broke her own NR twice last month in the 100m Hurdles event.
AFI President Adille J Sumariwalla also requested the Indian Olympic Association to increase their quota and help AFI to secure the accreditation of some athletes who haven’t proved their fitness. Sumariwalla said, “We are requesting the Indian Olympic Association to increase our quota by one and to assist in securing accreditation for a couple of athletes. We have also selected a few subject to their proving their fitness and form before the Games.”
“Shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor will have to perform well in Kazakhstan while Amoj Jacob has been selected subject to his recovery and fitness level,” the AFI President continued. “Similarly, Discus Throwers Navjeet Kaur Dhillon and Seema Antil Punia as well as Hammer Thrower Sarita Singh will have to perform in Kazakhstan or California. Race walker Bhawna Jat will have to prove her fitness.”
Indian athletics squad:
Men: Avinash Sable (3000m Steeplechase); Nitender Rawat (Marathon); M Sreeshankar and Muhammed Anees Yahiya (Long Jump); Abdulla Aboobacker, Praveen Chithravel and Eldhose Paul (Triple Jump); Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Shot Put); Neeraj Chopra, DP Manu and Rohit Yadav (Javelin Throw); Sandeep Kumar and Amit Khatri (Race Walking); Amoj Jacob, Noah Nirmal Tom, Arokia Rajiv, Muhammed Ajmal, Naganathan Pandi and Rajesh Ramesh (4x400m Relay).
Women: S Dhanalakshmi (100m and 4x100m relay); Jyothi Yarraji (100mHurdles); Aishwarya B (Long Jump and Triple Jump) and Ancy Sojan (Long Jump); Manpreet Kaur (Shot Put); Navjeet Kaur Dhillon and Seema Antil Punia (Discus Throw); Annu Rani and Shilpa Rani (Javelin Throw); Manju Bala Singh and Sarita Romit Singh (Hammer Throw); Bhawna Jat and Priyanka Goswami (Race Walking); Hima Das, Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, MV Jilna and NS Simi (4x100m relay).