Except for Chopra and Sable, all top athletes to take part in Inter-State Championships: AFI

New Delhi, Jun 6 (PTI) All the country’s top track and field athletes except for Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and Commonwealth Games silver medallist 3000 steeplechaser Avinash Sable will take part in the National Inter-State Championships in Bhubaneswar from June 15 to 19.

Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwalla said that Sable has also been granted exemption, along with Chopra, from the championships which will also serve as the selection trial for the upcoming Asian Games.

“Yes, except for Neeraj and Sable, all others training and competing abroad will have to take part in the National Inter-State in Bhubaneswar,” Sumariwalla told PTI.

Chopra is currently based in Turkey and recovering from a muscle strain he had suffered while training. He was to take part in the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games at Hengelo in the Netherlands on June 4 but pulled out of the event due to the injury.

It is yet not known if Chopra, who made a perfect start to the season by winning the Doha Diamond League on May 5 with a throw of 88.67m, will take part in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, on June 13, though he had said he would aim to be back in action this month.

Sable is currently undergoing high altitude training in Colorado Springs in US and he competed at the Diamond League Meeting in Rabat, Morocco last month. He will train in Switzerland in August before the World Championships (August 19 to 27) in Budapest, Hungary.

Both Chopra and Sable have already qualified for the World Championships.

Several top Indian athletes are currently training and competing abroad, mostly in Europe and US, including the likes of long jumpers Murali Sreeshankar and Jeswin Aldrin, triple jumper Praveen Chitravel, javelin thrower Annu Rani, sprinter Amlan Borgohain, 100m hurdler Jyothi Yarraji and long distance runners Parul Chaudhary and Sanjivani Jadhav.

The AFI in a circular earlier in the year had made it mandatory for all the athletes to participate in the National Inter-State Championships to be considered for selection to the Indian team for the Asian Games.

“Due to specified reasons, AFI may exempt selected elite athletes (upon request by the athlete or the chief coach) from participation in Inter-State (championships) 2023,” the AFI had said.

“This will be done based on the advice of AFI experts/coaches/selection committee. Such athletes will be eligible for selection in the Indian team subject to the final decision of the AFI Selection Committee.” Inter-State venue Kalinga Stadium to also host Intercontinental Cup football ============================================== It is learnt that the Kalinga Stadium, the venue for the National Inter-State Championships, will also host the four-nation International Cup football tournament involving India, Lebanon, Vanuatu and Mongolia from June 9 to 18.

The athletics events will be held in the morning of June 15 and 18 — the two days when football matches are there in the evening. Both morning and evening sessions will be there on June 16, 17 and 19.

“On the two days when football matches are there in the evening, there will only be morning session (of athletics events). But, both morning and evening sessions will be there on June 16, 17 and 19,” an AFI source said.

“Since the championships is a five-day event, there is enough time to have only morning sessions on two days.” The Intercontinental Cup football matches will be played on June 9, 12, 15 and 18.

Source: PTI News


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