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Aishwarya, Aldrin, Arokia 'fails to impress' AFI; asked to reappear in trials for World C'ships

Quarter-miler Aishwarya Mishra, long jumper Jeswin Aldrin and 4x400m relay team contender Arokia Rajiv "failed to impress" in the trials called by AFI for the upcoming World Championships. They will reappear for trials.

Jeswin Aldrin Long Jump

Jeswin Aldrin (Source: The Scroll)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 4 July 2022 3:58 PM GMT

Quarter-miler Aishwarya Mishra, long jumper Jeswin Aldrin and 4x400m relay team contender Arokia Rajiv "failed to impress" in the trials called by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for the upcoming World Championships on Monday but were given another chance to prove themselves on Friday.

AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said that the three athletes have been told that they can undergo another trial on Friday at the NIS Patiala.

"The performances of all three of them today were not up to the mark, nothing to be impressed. They did not meet the standards," AFI president Adille Sumariwalla told PTI.

"But we have given them another chance. They can come and undergo another trial on Friday at NIS Patiala, where the Junior World Championships trial will take place on that day," he added, Aishwarya, who had evaded dope testing authorities in May before resurfacing out of nowhere, was named in the 22-member Indian athletics team for the July 15-24 World Championships in Eugene, USA, subject to clocking close to 52 seconds in the 400m selection trial to be able to participate in the showpiece.

Aishwarya Mishra

But, she managed 53.15 seconds, way below the 51.18-second performance she had come up with during the Federation Cup in April, on Monday. She had qualified for World Championships on the basis of the Federation Cup timing. The automatic qualification time for the World Championships is 51.35 seconds. She disappeared after the Federation Cup performance and evaded dope testing authorities.

She resurfaced before the National Inter-State Championships in Chennai in mid-June and the AFI allowed her to compete only to get disqualified due to a false start in the 400m heats.

Aldrin was not named in the team on the ground that his performance had dropped consistently after jumping 8.26m during the Federation Cup in April. He had also breached the World Championships qualification mark of 8.22m during the Federation Cup but after that, he had 7.82m, 7.69m and 7.71m in the next three competitions. He was also given a chance to make it to the World Championships team if he jumps close to 8.10m in the "selection trial" on Monday.

He, however, could only produce a best jump of 7.99m.

Another athlete, Arokia Rajiv was also called for a "fitness trial" for inclusion in the men's 4x400m relay team. He clocked 47.89 seconds, well below his personal and season's best.

Amoj Jacob, who was named as one of the six 4x400m relay team members, is yet to regain full fitness after suffering a hamstring pull during the Chennai National Inter-State Championships. Arokia was to replace Jacob, if he passed the fitness test. But, Sumariwalla said Arokia will be selected for the World Championships only if his performance is satisfactory during the retrial in Patiala on Friday.

"We will select him (Arokia) only if his performance is up to the mark. Otherwise, we can send only five athletes on the 4x400m relay team," Sumariwalla said.

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