Adille Sumariwalla, President of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is optimistic of the Indian track and field contingent for the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games in China. It is evident that Sumariwalla was recently elected as one of the vice Presidents of World Athletics.
At the 2018 continental games, Indian athletics team finished third behind Asian giant China (34 medals - 12 gold, 13 silver and 9 bronze) and Bahrain (22 medals - 10 gold, 6 silver and 6 bronze).
According to Sumariwalla, preparation for the Asian Games starting September 23 in China has been on expected lines. The AFI is confident of a good show in track and field events starting September 29.
During a virtual media interaction ahead of the fifth leg of the two-day Indian Grand Prix meeting, Sumariwalla said:
“The Indian athletes gave a good account of themselves at the just concluded August 19 to 27 Budapest World Athletics Championships held in Hungary."
At the Worlds, three male Indian javelin throwers, including eventual winner Neeraj Chopra, talented Kishore Kumar Jena on his debut finished fifth, while DP Manu was at sixth place, showcased our strength in javelin.
The national men’s 4x400m relay team within a span of two days dipped below three minutes and shattered the Asian record in Budapest, which was a commendable performance.
“Parul Chaudhary (3000m steeplechase) and Ajay Kumar Saroj (1500m) too performed exceptionally well at the Worlds,” AFI president said.
Parul improved the women’s 3000m steeplechase national record to 9:15.31 seconds and Saroj posted a time of 3:38.24 seconds, which was his season best.
Good performance in the build up to the Asian Games in China has given a big boost to the confidence of the athletes. He added:
“The Indian contingent will be bigger and stronger this time. We have shortlisted 65 athletes and there are chances to add another 15 athletes depending whether they achieve the qualification criteria set by the AFI during the two-day IGP in Chandigarh."
The qualification time for the men’s 4x100m relay is 39 seconds, while 44.50 seconds is for the women’s 4x100m relay squad.
The competition on Sunday will commence from 3.30 pm onwards at the newly laid synthetic track here at Sector 7 Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, 100m hurdles specialist Jyothi Yarraji will compete in the women’s 4x100m relay.
"It will be a good chance to earn a place in the relay team for the Asian Games,” Jyothi said.