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India's comparison with the A and B times in Athletics

ANALYST
Stats
2.31K   //    03 Jul 2012, 18:10 IST

Qualification in Athletics for the 2012 London Olympics will reach the finishing line for most events by the end of the first week of July. Much like the swimming events, the track and field events in Athletics have qualifying marks ‘A’ and ‘B’ set by the IAAF, International Associations of Athletics Federations.

Here is a look at the Qualifying benchmarks with our own Indian standards. Analyzing India’s record breaking feats of the past with the current Olympic standards would help us understand the pace with which the world runs with that of our own. Season best or personal bests are no longer enough at this stage, record breaking moments are!

Womens

Comparing the A and B Olympic Qualifying Times with our National Records.

Olympic Benchmark Timings - Women

India’s NRs are well within the B mark in all of the track events. In fact, we have 5 events under the A mark which is a remarkably good indicator of our quality. But let’s get down to reality and check the actual number of our girls that have qualified in the track events till now. The answer is only 2 - Tintu Luka and Sudha Singh(We will have a detailed look into their qualification and their chances in later articles). Had our 4*400m relay team been in the fray, we would have been placed in the top 5 rankings chart with an A mark.

In Throw and Jump events, we have a bitter picture in comparison with the standards but a better scenario in terms of actual qualifiers. As 4 of our athletes, namely Seema Antil, Mayookha Johnny, Krishna Poonia and more recently Sahana Kumari have booked their place for London.

Mens

Comparing the A and B Olympic Qualifying Times with our National Records.

Olympics Qualifying Benchmark Mens

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Mens NRs present a gloomy picture with respect to Olympic Qualification benchmarks. Apart from Shot Put and Discuss Throw, we are literally no where. All the hopes lie with Vikas Gowda and Om Prakash(We will have a detail look into their qualification and their chances in later articles). Apart from them, long distances and triple jump saves the day for India with respect to timings as Ranjeeth Maheshwary(triple Jump), Ram Singh Yadav(marathon), Basanta Rana(50km walk) and the trio of Gurmeet, Irfan and Baljinder head to London.

Olympic standards have improved over the years with drop in timings and increase in throw and jumping distances.  India will have to get her act together in time and make sure she produces more and more athletes who break records and set new standards. Some of her National Records are as old as 36 years! She needs younger ones, similar to the one that Sahana Kumari achieved a week ago in Hyderabad with an High Jump of 1.92m. There is hope, and hope is a good thing!

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