2019 World Athletics Championships: AFI names 25-member squad for Doha meet, Hima Das named in relay team
Although there were concerns regarding Hima Das' fitness, the star quarter-miler has been named in the 4x400m relay team (mixed and women).
On Monday, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) announced a 25-member Indian team for the upcoming IAAF World Athletics Championships to be held from 27th September to 6th October, 2019 in Doha.
Although there were concerns regarding Hima Das' fitness, the star quartermiler has been named in the 4x400m relay team (mixed and women). However, there was one surprising exclusion from the relay squad in Saritaben Gayakwad, who was part of the squad which won the gold medal at last year's Asian Games.
The top four Indians in the women's 400m, as per results in 2019 are: Anjali Devi (51.53s), Hima Das (52.09s), V. K.Vismaya (52.12s) and M. R. Poovamma (52.46s). Saritaben (52.77s) is the fifth fastest Indian this year in 400m.
Now, Anjali Devi was not named in the relay squad (possibly because she gave the national camp a miss). Naturally, Saritaben should have been the one to come in. Instead, the AFI has named Jisna Mathew (sixth fastest with timing of 52.96s) in the squad.
Elsewhere, in Javelin, the absence of national record-holder Neeraj Chopra is sure to hurt India. Only the other day, Neeraj was quoted saying in a report that there was a 50-50 chance of him making it. Vipin Kasana has also been excluded.
The AFI selection committee also approved the participation of Dutee Chand (100m), Archana (200m) and Tejaswini Shankar( High Jump) subject to IAAF invitation whereas Anjali Devi will have to appear for confirmatory trial on 21st September, 2019 to be eligible for the 400m event.
Here is the full squad:
Men- Jabir MP (400m Hurdles), Jinson Johnson (1500m), Avinash Sable (3000m Steeplechase), KT Irfan and Devender Singh (20km Race Walk), Gopi T (Marathon), Sreeshankar M (Long Jump), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (Shot Put), Shivpal Singh (Javelin Throw), Muhammed Anas, Nirmal Noah Tom, Alex Antony, Amoj Jacob, KS Jeevan, Dharun Ayyasamy and Harsh Kumar (4x400m Men's & Mixed Relay).
Women- PU Chitra (1500m), Annu Rani (Javelin Throw), Hima Das, Vismaya VK, Poovamma MR, Jisna Mathew, Revathi V, Subha Venkatsan, Vithya R (4x400m Women & Mixed Relay).