Three Indian athletes on Thursday surpassed the qualification marks for the 2022 Asian Games at the ongoing 62nd National Inter State Senior Athletics Championship in Bhubaneswar.
Anjali Devi (women’s 400m), Kartik Kumar and Gulveer Singh (both men’s 10,000m) met the qualification standards the Asiad which will be held in September-October in China’s Hangzhou.
The inter state championship, which runs from June 15 to June 19, will serve as the final selection trial for Indian athletes to qualify for the Asian Games.
Olympic javelin champion Neeraj Chopra and men’s 3000m steeplechase runner Avinash Sable have already qualified for the Asian Games and were thus exempt from the qualification trials organised by AFI. Chopra is currently recovering from an injury that saw him pull out of the FBK Games in the Netherlands and miss the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland, both earlier this month and is undecided on whether he will appear for the Lausanne Diamond League leg at the end of June.
Sable finished 10th in his first competitive 3000m steeplechase event of the year at the Rabat Diamond League leg in Morocco in May.
Devi, representing Haryana, clocked a time of 52.89 s in the heats, going past the qualification mark of 52.96 in women’s 400m.
In the men’s 10,000m event, Kartik (29:01.84 s) and Gulveer (29:03.78 s), both from Uttar Pradesh, won the gold and silver medals respectively and subsequently qualified for the Asian Games, crossing the qualification mark of 29:30.00 s. With these timings, both Kartik and Gulveer also bettered the previous meet record of 29:06.17 clocked way back in 2007 by Olympian Surendra Singh, who is currently overseeing the national athletics camp in Bengaluru.
With a timing of 29:05.90s, Gulveer had earlier qualified for the Asian Athletics Championships after winning the gold medal in the same event at the Federation Cup back in May this year.
Pritam Kumar of Delhi (29:22.36) also crossed the Asian Games qualification mark to win bronze in the event.
Hima Das, the current national record holder in the event from Assam, will not compete due to a hamstring injury as reported by her coach, and therefore will miss out on appearing for the Asian Games. Das is also the first Indian female athlete to win a gold at a World Championship when she achieved the feat at the U20 World Championships in Finland in 2018. In the same year at the Asian Games in Jakarta, she won silver in the individual 400m event and mixed 4x400 relay team, while winning gold in the 4x400 women’s relay event.
Also missing out from the event and thus the Asian Games will be Priya Mohan from Karnataka, due to collapsed lungs reported by her coach. Mohan finished fourth in the women’s 400m at the U20 World Championships last year and was part of the team that won bronze in 4x400m women’s relay.
All results (finals) from Day 1
Men’s 10,000m: Kartik Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) 29:01.84 secs, Gulveer Singh (UP) 29:03.78 secs, Pritam Kumar (Delhi) 29:22.36 secs.
Men’s 20km race walk: Sandeep Kumar (Haryana) 1:27:12, Servin S (Tamil Nadu) 1:28:21, Hardeep (Haryana) 1:28:57
Women’s 10,000m: Seema (Himachal Pradesh) 34:20.01 secs, Sanjivani Jadhav (Maharashtra) 34:34.10 secs, Poonam Dinkar (Maharashtra) 34:45.42 secs.
Women’s 20km race walk: Bhavna Jat (Rajasthan) 1:37:03.00, Priyanka Goswani (UP) 1:40:33.00, Vandana (Karnataka) 1:41:54.00.