India to send 53-member athletics team for Asian Games
New Delhi, June 30 (PTI) Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and defending champion Seema Antil were today named in India's 53 strong athletics team for the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia.
Neeraj and Seema were exempted from the just-concluded National Interstate Athletics Championships in Guwahati but they have been asked to undergo a confirmatory trial on August 15.
The National Interstate Athletics Championships was the final selection trial to pick the team.
"We have picked 50-odd athletes to be sent to the IOA. These athletes are those who had breached the qualifying guidelines in Guwahati plus some more who were very near to the qualifying mark," Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla told PTI.
"We have strictly applied the IOA criteria of top six performance of last Asiad and that is why the number of athletes is less this time," he added.
India had been given a quota of 102 athletes by the Asian Games organisers but the final number will be around half of that.
"We are sending only the medal prospects and our guidelines are within top 4 performance of last Asian Games which is even stricter than that of IOA," said the AFI chief.
It is learnt that top half-miler Tintu Luka figured among the 53 named by the selection committee and she will have to undergo a confirmatory trial on August 15.
Luka, who had won a medal in 2014 Games, did not take part in Guwahati due to illness. Her coach P T Usha had requested the AFI to give her another chance.
Meanwhile, IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta said that India's team for the Asian Games will be less than the last edition.
"It is likely to be less than 500 this time," he said.
In 2014, India had sent 541 athletes