National Inter-State Championships 200m gold winner Archana Suseendran has been cleared to participate in the World Championships starting in Doha next week after the Athletics Federation of India accepted a late invite from the International Association of Athletics Federations.
After a review of the final entries, the world body, IAAF found that some of the qualified athletes would not be able to take part in the September 27 to October 6 showpiece event and sent out late invites.
The deadline for the submission of final entries was on September 16 but the the IAAF opened a small window after maximum target of entries was not reached.
In fact, the IAAF sent invites to three Indian athletes, all in women’s 200m. The three included Hima Das, who was ruled out of the championships due to her persistent back injury. The third invite was extended to S Dhanalakshmi but the AFI did not accept her name.
Hima’s pet event is the 400m but she had run and won gold in 200m in five races of mediocre fields in July and August in Poland and Czech Republic, the best being 23.25 seconds at Tabor (Czech Republic).
“We have accepted the invite of Archana but not of Dhanalakshmi as she did not have consistent good timings. Hima, of course, cannot run as she is injured,” an AFI official told PTI.
The AFI had initially thought that Archana would get invite along with 100m runner Dutee Chand, who did not cross the qualifying mark but nevertheless made the cut as the IAAF need to have the target entry number in each event.
The inclusion of Tamil Nadu athlete Archana will take the number of Indians in the World Championships to 27 but Anajali Devi’s participation in the women’s 400m will be subject to a confirmatory trial to be held in Patiala on Saturday.
Archana’s best timing this season was the 23.18 seconds she clocked in the Indian Grand Prix in Patiala in August. Later, she won the gold in the National Inter-State Championships in Lucknow with a timing of 23.39 seconds.
Dhanalakshmi has recorded 23.24 seconds in November last year in the National Inter-University Championships in Mangaluru. But after that, not much is known about her performances in 200m. She had won a silver in the 100m dash in the Indian Grand Prix in Patiala in February with a timing of 11.98 seconds.