Friday, August 19, 2022

Neeraj Chopra, Sable among 22 picked for World Athletics Championships

July 01, 2022 01:14 AM

MUMBAI: Olympic gold medallist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, top male steeplechaser Avinash Sable and long jumper M Sreeshankar will lead the Indian charge at the World Athletics Championships to be held at Eugene, Oregon in the US, from July 15-24.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Thursday announced a 22-member squad, including five women, for the biggest competition for athletes this year.

Neeraj, who recently finished second in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, setting the national record of 89.30 metres in the process and then won a gold medal at the Kuortane Games with a creditable effort of 86.60m in horrible conditions, will be India's main hope for a gold medal in Oregon, continuing his surge from Tokyo.

AFI president Adille J. Sumariwalla said the team has been selected from among those who had either attained the entry standard set by World Athletics or qualified based on their world rankings.

Seven of the 16 athletes, who will compete in individual events, are National Record holders. They include Sable, Sreeshankar, Tajinderpal Singh Toor, Neeraj Chopra, Sandeep Kumar, Annu Rani and Priyanka Goswami.

The AFI informed that quarter-miler Amoj Jacob has been selected for the 4x400m relay subject to fitness. "Arokia Rajiv will replace Amoj in case he does not regain fitness," Sumariwalla said.

Similarly, women 400m sprinter Aishwarya Kailash Mishra's selection was subject to a fitness trial -- with electronic time and dope testing. Recently, there were reports of her evading a dope test, though the athlete has denied the allegation.


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