India’s track and field athletes were confirmed to have earned 18 quota places for the Tokyo Olympic Games (accounting for 15 individual events and two relay teams), through the combination of meeting automatic qualification marks and world rankings during the stipulated period.
Avinash Sable (men’s 3000m steeplechase), Tajinderpal Singh Toor (men’s shot put), Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh (men’s javelin throw), M Sreeshankar (men’s long jump), Kamalpreet Kaur and Seema Punia (women’s discus throw) and race walkers KT Irfan, Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Rohila (men) and Bhawna Jat and Priyanka Goswami (women), qualified for the Olympic Games through the automatic benchmarks. The mixed 4x400m relay team qualified by reaching the final of the World Championships in 2019.
The men’s 4x400m relay team, MP Jabir (men’s 400m Hurdles), Dutee Chand (women’s 100m and 200m), Annu Rani (women’s Javelin Throw) made it on the strength of their world ranking.
Dutee was 41st and 50th respectively in the list of 56 athletes to compete in both the 100m and 200m events, while Rani was at 18th (out of 32) and Jabir at 32nd (out of 40).
The closest miss was that of the women’s 4x400m relay team which missed out by a whisker as it was placed at 17th spot while 16 were to get the Olympic slots. Bahamas got the last spot with their timing that was set on June 28.
Confirmed qualified Indian athletes for Tokyo
|Event||Qualification Position||Athlete||Status||Ranking position or Best attempt beyond qualification mark|
|Women's 100m||41||Dutee Chand||Qualified by World Rankings||47th|
|Women's 200m||50||Dutee Chand||Qualified by World Rankings||59th|
|Women's Discus Throw||8||Kamalpreet Kaur||Qualified by Entry Standard||66.59 - Patiala (IND) - 21 JUN 2021|
|Women's Discus Throw||21||Seema Punia||Qualified by Entry Standard||63.72 - Patiala (IND) - 29 JUN 2021|
|Women's Javelin Throw||18||Annu Rani||Qualified by World Rankings||11th|
|Women's 20km Race Walk||14||Priyanka Goswami||Qualified by Entry Standard||1:28:45 - Ranchi (IND) - 13 FEB 2021|
|Women's 20km Race Walk||27||Bhawna Jat||Qualified by Entry Standard||1:29:54 - Ranchi (IND) - 15 FEB 2020|
|Men's 400m Hurdles||32||MP Jabir||Qualified by World Rankings||25th|
|Men's 3000m Steeplechase||32||Avinash Sable||Qualified by Entry Standard||8:20.20 - Patiala (IND) - 17 MAR 2021|
|Men's Long Jump||14||M Sreeshankar||Qualified by Entry Standard||8.26 - (+0.3) - Patiala (IND) - 16 MAR 2021|
|Men's Shot Put||15||Tajinderpal Singh Toor||Qualified by Entry Standard||21.49 - Patiala (IND) - 21 JUN 2021|
|Men's Javelin Throw||8||Neeraj Chopra||Qualified by Entry Standard||88.07 - Patiala (IND) - 05 MAR 2021|
|Men's Javelin Throw||18||Shivpal Singh||Qualified by Entry Standard||85.47 - McArthur Stadium, Potchefstroom (RSA) - 10 MAR 2020|
|Men's 20km Race Walk||23||Sandeep Kumar||Qualified by Entry Standard||1:20:16 - Ranchi (IND) - 13 FEB 2021|
|Men's 20km Race Walk||28||Rahul Rohila||Qualified by Entry Standard||1:20:26 - Ranchi (IND) - 13 FEB 2021|
|Men's 20km Race Walk||42||KR Irfan||Qualified by Entry Standard||1:20:57 - Nomi (JPN) - 17 MAR 2019|
|Men's 4x400m Relay||13||India||Qualified by Top List||3:01.89 - Patiala (IND) - 25 JUN 2021|
|Mixed 4x400m Relay||7||India||Qualified by Designated Competition||7th - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha (QAT) - 29 SEP 2019|
Women's 4x400m relay quota
|Last quota spot||Bahamas||3:29.40 - The Bahamas National Stadium, Nassau (BAH) - 28 JUN 2021|
|In the 17th place||India||3:29.42 - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha (QAT) - 05 OCT 2019|
The qualification of Dutee (both in 100m and 200m), Rani and Jabir was on expected lines as they were within the bracket to make it to the Games in the Road to Tokyo list.
The men’s 4x400m relay team was placed at 13th out of 16 to compete in Tokyo based on the timing of 3:01.89 clocked during the National Inter-State Championships on Friday.
Dutee had clocked 11.17 seconds during the Indian Grand Prix 4 in Patiala on June 21, two-hundredth of a second outside the automatic qualification standard of 11.15 seconds.
Rani had bettered her own national record with a throw of 63.24m during the Federation Cup in March before a performance of 62.83m in the National Inter-State Championships this week.
Jabir had run a personal best of 49.78 seconds on Saturday last during the National Inter-State Championships, though he has a personal best of 49.13 seconds.
Long jumper M Sreeshankar had made it to the Olympics with a national record jump of 8.26m during the Federation Cup in March while shot putter Toor booked a Games’ berth with another national record mark of 21.49m during the Indian Grand Prix 4.
Kaur made it to the Olympics during the Federation Cup in March with a performance of 65.06m and then bettered her own national record with a throw of 66.59m during the subsequent Indian Grand Prix 4 on June 21.
Veteran Punia was the last to bag an automatic qualification spot for the Olympics with a throw of 63.72m on the final day of National Inter-State Championships on Tuesday.
The Athletics Federation of India’s selection committee will meet on Friday to pick the team for the Olympics. It will basically be the picking of the two relay teams – men’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m.
The Road to Tokyo list on the World Athletics website shows which athletes – subject to being officially selected by their National Olympic committee – have qualified to compete at the Olympic Games.
“The Olympic qualification period for all stadium events finished on June 29 and World Athletics’ Olympic qualification system has now been finalised, showing that about 70 percent of the athletes in individual events have qualified by entry standard and 30 percent by world ranking position, while 100 universality places have been awarded,” the World Athletics stated in a press release.
World Athletics responded positively to the Athletics Federation of India request to consider the 3:01.89 clocked in the 4x400m heats by the men’s team on Friday at the Inter-State and they made the cut in time.
Independent Indian has never won a medal at the track and field events in Olympic Games with Milkha Singh and PT Usha coming the closest.
(With PTI inputs)
The athletics squad for Tokyo 2020 announced by AFI on 5 July
Men: Avinash Sable (3000m Steeplechase); MP Jabir (400m Hurdles): M Sreeshankar (Long Jump); Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Shot Put); Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh (Javelin Throw); KT Irfan, Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Rohilla (20km Walk) and Gurpreet Singh (50km Walk – note: unclear about qualification); 4x400m Relay: Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv, Muhammed Anas, Naganathan Pandi, Noah Nirmal Tom; 4x400m Mixed Relay: Sarthak Bhambri, Alex Antony
Women: Dutee Chand (100m and 200m); Kamalpreet Kaur and Seema Antil-Punia (Discus Throw) and Annu Rani (Javelin Throw); Bhawna Jat and Priyanka Goswami (20km Walk) and (Mixed 4x400m Relay): Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan & Dhanlakshmi Sekhar.