Foreign flavour at National Inter-State Athletics ChampionshipsJune 25, 2021, Patiala
The 60th National Inter-State Athletics Championships at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NSNIS), Patiala from Friday will witness foreign flavour.
A handful of athletes from Sri Lanka will be competing in the meet which will serve as the last competition for the Indian athletes to qualify for Olympic Games which will commence in Tokyo from July 23 to August 8.
According to the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), the national governing body for athletics, Nadeesha Ramanayake who is 59th in the World Athletics rankings released on June 15 will compete in 400m while Nimali Waliwarsha who is 57th on world rankings the list will run in the women’s 800m.
The meet has been graded as a ‘B’ category event to achieve the World Athletics rankings and the Olympic qualification closes on June 29.
Among the Indians, the focus will be shifted to Dutee Chand (women’s 100m), Hima Das (women’s 200m), javelin thrower Annu Rani and women’s 4x100m relay team.
In the women’s 1500m, Harmilan Bains will be hogging the limelight. In the Indian Grand Prix-4 held in the same venue on Monday, Hamilan stunned Asian medallist and 2018 Jakarta Asian Games medallist PU Chitra who is also the national champion.
In the GP-4, Indian women’s 4x100m quartet comprising – Dutee, Hima, Archana Suseendran and S Dhanalakshmi – missed the qualification standard of 43.05 seconds by a whisker. On Monday, they clocked 43.37s and are now 20th ranked. The top 16 countries will qualify for Tokyo.
The men’s 4x400m relay squad team (Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv and Noah Nirmal Tom) is expected to improve their timings. On Monday they clocked 3 minutes 02.61seconds and on Friday the quartet, who are on roaring form despite Covid-19 curtailing their Olympic preparations, will be eyeing to better the timing.
The first day of the five-day will witness six finals: men’s 10000m, men’s pole vault, women’s 5000m, 100m hurdles, triple jump and hammer throw events.