It begins again: One week to go for Indian skating team trials
The best of the best Indian skaters are starting to stream into Mysore for the trials to be a part of the Indian teams for the 2014 Asian Championships in China and the World Championships in Argentina.
To even qualify to participate in these trials, a skater must have either won a national medal in at least one of the two preceding national championships or must have been part of the previous Indian team. Reporting for the event is on the 23rd of this month and the trials begin on the 25th. The skaters who earn their spot on the team will then go to Bangalore to attend a two-week camp.
Over a span of three days the skaters will participate in nine events, and the skaters who manage to win at least one first or second position in any of these nine events will become a part of the team.
The Mysore trails are going be extremely interesting, especially with the renovated track that promises faster times and by extension, more exciting races. In addition to this, there lots of skaters who took a break last year and are coming back to compete in addition to the newcomers to the international circuit. It will be interesting to see how the younger competitors will be able to compete against the older and seasoned skaters; after all, some of these younger skaters have been very impressive in previous national championships.
There are four age groups – senior men and senior women, and junior men and junior women. Each category can have a maximum of eight skaters. However, in the past we have seen that this roster has not always been filled to capacity. The Roller Skating Federation of India (RSFI) has made it very clear that only skaters who they believe are deserving of a place on the team will go for the international events, whether the team consists of four skaters or eight skaters.
In addition, the RSFI has said that all skaters must measure up to a minimum time in each event. If the skaters fail to do so, there will be no participants from India in that age group when the team competes in either the Asian or World Championships. Often there are three or four skaters in each category who dominate all the events, so it is only those skaters that form the team for that category.
I am excited to see what surprises, if any, these trials will bring!