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Entry lists of the Interstate Athletics Championships - the last qualification tournament for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 (as released by AFI)

Hima Das
Hima Das
ANALYST

The preliminary entry list for Interstate Athletics Championships was released by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) earlier today. The Interstate Athletics Championships, which will be held from the 25th to 29th June at Patiala, Punjab, will serve as the final opportunity for Indian athletes to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Star-studded lineup for Interstate Athletics Championships in women's events

The entry list for the Interstate Athletics Championships (IAC) released by AFI has big names such as Dutee Chand and Hima Das. They have registered for both the 100m and 200m events for women. Both had set the track on fire with their brilliant performances at the Indian Grand Prix 4 and will now compete again at the IAC.

Dutee Chand is currently looking pretty comfortable with her ranking position in both the 100m and 200m events. Hima Das will need to achieve an automatic qualification mark in either of the aforementioned events which stands at 11.15 and 22.80 seconds respectively.

Harmilan Bains of Punjab has entered both the 800m and 1500m events. She has consistently improved this season and clocked a Personal Best time of 4:08.27 minutes in 1500m at the Indian Grand Prix 4. She'll be gunning to achieve the Olympic qualification mark of 4:04.20 minutes.

Seema Punia will be looking to qualify for her 4th Olympics at the Interstate Athletics Championships
Seema Punia will be looking to qualify for her 4th Olympics at the Interstate Athletics Championships

Seema Punia will be eyeing the opportunity to book a spot for her fourth Olympics at the Interstate Athletics Championships. She missed the Indian Grand Prix 4 but has registered herself for the Interstates. She'll be pushed to give her best by current national record holder and Olympic-bound Kamalpreet Kaur, who has also registered for the Interstate Athletics Championships.

Annu Rani, who looked below par at the Indian Grand Prix 4 will also look to achieve the automatic qualification mark of 64 meters in the women's javelin at the Interstate Athletics Championships 2021. However, her situation is not dire as she is well-placed in the ranking table for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualifications.

The women's 4X100m relay team will also have the last chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 at the Interstate Athletics Championships. They put up an inspired performance at the Indian Grand Prix 4 and clocked a national record time of 43.37 seconds but fell short of their target, which currently stands at 43.03 seconds.

The relay team is studded with great names like Dutee Chand, Hima Das, Archana Suseendran and Dhana Lakshmi. If they perform to the best of their abilities, they can achieve the sub-43 second timing at the Interstate Athletics Championships.

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Arpinder Singh and Jinson Johnson throw in the towel

The national record holder in the men's 800m and 1500m, Jinson Johnson, has not registered for the Interstate Athletics Championships 2021. He has not been in the best of shapes since he contracted with COVID-19 earlier this year.

2018 Asian Games triple jump champion Arpinder Singh too has not been in the best of form as his training got hampered because of the lockdown. Neither of them have registered for the Interstate Athletics Championships.

Jinson Johnson will be missing the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Jinson Johnson will be missing the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

TajinderPal Singh Toor (men's shot put) will be the star attraction in the men's event at the Interstate Athletics Championships. He qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by throwing the 7.26 kg iron ball to a new Asian Record of 21.49 meters. He'll be looking to improve on that mark to set alarm bells ringing for his competitors at the Olympics.

Shivpal Singh will feature in the men's javelin throw. This will be his first competition since the Indian Grand Prix 3 that was also held in Patiala on 5th March earlier this year. Murali Sreeshankar will be looking to improve on his 7.74m mark (long jump) set at the Indian Grand Prix 4.

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Tejaswin Shankar (season's best: 2.28m) has returned to India from the US to participate in the Interstate Athletics Championships. He will be looking to breach the automatic qualification mark of 2.33 meters to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in the high jump category. He has registered for the triple jump event as well.

India's national record holder in the 110m hurdles, Siddhanth Thingalaya, will also be seen in action at the Interstate Athletics Championships. This will be his comeback tournament after a two-year gap.

The Indian men's 4X400m relay team will also look to clock a timing of sub 3:02.00 minutes at the Interstate Athletics Championships. AFI has invited teams from the Maldives and Sri Lanka for these championships to compete against the Indian team.

Men's 4*400 relay team will put their best foot forward at the Interstates (PS: Arokia Rajiv was not there in 2019 team)
Men's 4*400 relay team will put their best foot forward at the Interstates (PS: Arokia Rajiv was not there in 2019 team)

The quartet of Mohammad Anas, Arokia Rajiv, Amoj Jacob and Noah Nirmal Tom will give their best to improve on their timing of 3:02.59 minutes. They clocked a time of 3:02.61 minutes at the Indian Grand Prix 4 and are currently in 16th place (out of 16).

Let's hope that all these athletes give in their best shot to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 at the Interstate Athletics Championships.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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