2022 World Athletics Championships: 5 big Indian athletes who will miss out on the tournament
There are some stalwarts of the Indian Athletics circuit who are going to be absent in the upcoming championship in Oregon.
While the Neeraj Chopra-led contingent is readying itself for the 2022 World Athletics Championship and hoping to add to the solitary medal won at the competition by Anju Bobby George in 2003, there are some big names who are set to miss out on the World meet.
Yesterday, the final entry list of athletes from all the countries were announced via a press release on the Oregon World Championship's website. While most of the notable absentees are not there on the list, some have been included in the entry roster. However, these same ones have a constant tussle with the country's governing body, AFI (Athletics Federation of India).
1. Dutee Chand
The Tokyo Olympian will be one of the most notable Indian athletes to miss out on the Oregon Championship. Unfortunately, Chand missed out on a spot by a whisker. According to the tournament rules, there are a total of 48 spots in the Women's 100m event. After considering the world rankings as well as the entry standard of athletes across countries, Chand finished 52nd on the table, thereby preventing her from earning a berth.
The Asian Games medallist recently announced her decision to retire after one last hurrah at the Paris 2024 Olympics as she believes her speed isn't what it used to be. This came after she lost in the 200m event at the Khelo India University Games in May to teen sprinter Priya Mohan.
2. Tejaswin Shankar
The National record holder in the High Jump, Tejaswin Shankar, is another big wig in the Indian Athletics world who is set to miss out on the big event. Shankar's reason for not making it to the World Championships is similar, if not the same, to Dutee Chand's.
His participation, or lack thereof, at the World event, however, hasn't been exactly on his mind in recent times. India's best high-jumper was excluded from the country's CWG squad, due to which the athlete took the AFI to court.
As it stands, despite winning the court case against the top body, the Commonwealth games organisers have ruled out the possibility of Shankar's inclusion due to rules. We'll have to wait and see if we do see the athlete join the CWG squad, which is bereft of any high-jumper.
3. Hima Das
Two-time Asiad medallist was on a golden streak of glory at the National Inter-State Athletics Championships. The competition was possibly a qualification event for the world championships as it fell between the mentioned time period. However, despite winning gold in the women's 100m with a timing of 11.43s, Das failed to breach the qualifying standard which was kept at 11.15s.
4. Bhawna Jat
The race walker was going to participate in the women's 20km race-walking event at the world event but decided to pull out of the competition in order to focus on the Birmingham games. Bhawna Jat had informed AFI of her decision two weeks after her training for the 2022 Commonwealth games had begun.
5. Seema Punia
The four-time CWG medallist, Seema Punia, is set to miss the Athletics championship as well. While she had comfortably breached the qualifying standards in the discus throw at the Oregon22 event last year, with a throw of 63.72m, recent performances from the athlete have been below-par.
AFI President Adille J Sumariwalla had said, "She has won medals in four Commonwealth Games and wanted to focus on the Birmingham competition," in a press release, citing this to be the reason for her withdrawal from the squad.
However, Punia was unable to cross the 56m-mark in any domestic event this year, which might have been a contributing factor. Her dip in form has also endangered the discus thrower's 2022 Commonwealth games berth, which is now conditional on producing better throws.
Apart from the five aforementioned athletes, there are some more who have found themselves in a pickle with the AFI, which has directly or indirectly, affected their spots in the World Athletics Championship.
An athlete who was given a second chance by India's top athletics organization was Aishwarya Mishra. After clocking in the required timing to qualify for the Oregon event, her antics at evading dope testing authorities and disqualifying at the National Inter-State Championship meant that she would have to be subjected to certain conditions.
On her first trials, Mishra clocked a timing of 53.15s. Her performance drastically went down in the second round of trials, which was nowhere closer to the quarter-mile runner's sparkling display at the Federation Cup held in April.
As it stands, Aishwarya Mishra's hopes have been quashed by AFI's rulings and partially due to their own poor displays.Another special mention has to be Dhanalakshmi Sekar. After becoming only the third Indian woman to breach the 23-second mark in the 200m events, her exclusion from the athletes' entry list, despite crossing the qualifying standard, is concerning. Sekar's lack of a visa has been rumoured to be a possible reason.