Fed Cup junior athletics from todayApril 20, 2018, Coimbatore
The weather is extremely hot and intense competition is expected to further step up the heat when the Sri Krishna Institutions 16th Federation Cup National junior (under-20) athletics championship gets underway at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
Organised by the Tamil Nadu Athletics Association (TNAA), the championship has attracted about 700 athletes from across the country. Coimbatore, which is hosting it for the first time, wants to make it an extra special event for all.
Bengaluru hosted the first edition way back in 2001 and Chennai, the State capital, had the privilege of hosting it thrice (2003, 2006 & 2014). The annual championship was also held in the Temple City of Madurai in 2007.
The three-day meet, which features athletes aged between 16 and 20, will have more significance this year as it will serve as selection trial for the third South Asian junior championship in Colombo (May 5-7), 18th Asian junior championship in Gifu, Japan (June 7-10) and the IAAF World under-20 championship in Tampere, Finland (July 10-15).
The Indian stars have made rapid strides at the global level, especially in the youth (under-18) and junior (u-20) categories in recent years. Neeraj Chopra, the CWG gold medallist in javelin recently, has been a sensation and, many more such stars are expected to emerge from this meet.
A good number of youngsters who sparkled for India on the international stage are taking part here. And, the ‘worn-out’ synthetic surface is at the mercy of these stars. The organisers have tried their best to get the surface to shape, but quite a few coaches and athletes feel it might affect their showing.