Several top athletes to miss Monday's Indian GP IV
Patiala, June 20, 2021
Muhammed Anas, the national 400m record holder, and Noah Nirmal Tom will be the notable absentees from the individual 400m race of the one-day Indian Grand Prix IV to be held here on Monday.
Fourteen athletes will battle it out for the gold medal, according to the starting list posted by Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on its website. The names of Anas and Tom are missing from it.
In the absence of Anas, the focus in the 400m race would be on Rajiv Arokia, whose personal best is 45.37 seconds. But this season he is yet to dip below 46 seconds. Sarthak Bhambri will be another athlete to watch out for. Jabir M.P., a 400m hurdles specialist, has also entered the race.
Since the men's 4x400m relay is one of the events of the IGP IV, it looks certain both Anas and Tom will compete in the relay. However, the AFI is yet to announce the final list for the relay.
Jinson Johnson, the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games 1,500m champion, will also skip the meet as he is yet to recover from a bout of Covid-19.
Upcoming middle-distance runner Anu Kumar of Uttarakhand and Ajay Kumar Saroj of Uttar Pradesh will be the ones to watch out for in the 1,500m.
Asian Games shot put champion Tajinderpal Singh Toor will be among four athletes who will compete in the men's javelin throw gold.
While Jithin Paul and Jabir M.P. have registered for the men's 400m hurdles, six athletes will compete in the men's 3000m steeplechase. Haryana's Shankar Lal Swami is among the favourites in steeplechase
Seven athletes have entered in the men's long jump competition and six in the men's triple jump.
Ace sprinter Dutee Chand and Daneshwari A.T. will battle it out for supremacy in women's 100 metres.
As per entry list posted by Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on its website, only seven sprinters, including Dutee, Dhanalakshmi and Himashree Roy, have registered for the 100m race.
In the Federation Cup Athletics meet held in March, Dhanalakshmi had upset Dutee to win gold in 100m. Dutee won silver.
Dhanalakshmi will also compete in the 200m in the IGP IV.
Promising Assam sprinter Hima Das, whose prolonged low back injury prevented her from competing in the women's 400m race, will be seen in action in the 200m event on Monday.
Only five sprinters, including Dutee, have entered the 200m.
Leading 400m sprinter Anjali Devi will skip the IGP IV as she is yet to recover from a leg injury she had sustained in February.
Jisna Mathew, Vismaya V.K., and M.R. Poovama are favourites in the women's 400m.
The women's 1500m race will see only two competitors -- P.U. Chitra and Harmilan Bains - who are chasing the Olympic qualification mark of four minutes 04.20 seconds.
The women's 5000m race too has also attracted only two athletes -- Sudha Singh and Parul Chaudhary.
In javelin, Annu Rani will be the main attraction. She is yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games, starting on July 23.
Entries of as many as 16 athletes, including five in men's 1,500 meters event, have been rejected by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for the event.
The AFI has set basic entry criteria in each of the events scheduled in the programme.
Four 400m runners and three javelin throwers too have failed to get themselves registered for the one-day event.
Two shot putters and a steeplechase runner from Uttar Pradesh have also been declared ineligible for not meeting the qualification mark of the AFI.
The AFI has also set entry standards for the National Inter State Athletics Championships, scheduled to be held here from June 25.
Entries' standards for IGP IV:
Men: 400m (47.70 seconds), 1500m (3 minutes 52 secs), 400m hurdles (52.00 secs), 3000m steeplechase (9 minutes .08 secs), long jump (7.35 meters), triple jump (15.50m), shot put (17m), javelin throw (75m), 4x400m relay
Women: 100m (12.00 seconds), 200m (24. 40 secs), 400m (56.00 secs), 1500m (4 minutes 30 secs), 5000m (16 minutes 52 secs), discus throw (45m), javelin throw (46. 50m), 4x100m relay