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Athletics

AFI looking to revamp the domestic calendar to increase competitions

Athletics Federation of India is looking to revamp the domestic calendar and add more competitions for athletes to compete.

AFI looking to revamp the domestic calendar to increase competitions
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FILE PHOTO: Adille Sumariwalla is the president of the Athletics Federation of India. 

By

Pritish Raj

Updated: 26 Jun 2024 4:47 PM GMT

Panchkula, Haryana: Athletics Federation of India wants Indian athletes to compete more from next season and not shy away from the competition.

In the press conference preceding the 63rd National Inter-State Athletics Championships, AFI president Adille Sumariwalla confirmed that the federation is looking to revamp the domestic calendar.

The plan is to add more tournaments apart from the existing Indian Grand Prix, Federation Cup, and Inter-State Championships.

“I feel Indian athletes run away from competition sometimes and are shy of it. They need to compete more,” AFI president Sumariwalla said in the press conference.

"I want all state federations to conduct one senior open and junior open tournaments. More competitions will allow more talent to trickle in," he added.

Decentralization of National Camp

Apart from increasing competitions, AFI plans to decentralize the national camp and allow the athletes to train at the center of their choice. The coaches will be stationed at the National Center of Excellence nationwide.

"We are looking at the comfort of the athletes. That is the rationale behind this decision. Some athletes are comfortable with a certain kind of weather while some prefer a certain style of food," Sumariwalla explained.

AFI estimates that decentralization will allow more players to train at the regional center and institutes like JSW and Reliance that have world-class facilities.

Only relay teams will stay together as it is a team event that requires training together.

AFI plans to bring international events to the country

With the growing popularity of Athletics in the country, the federation is looking to organize a continental-level tour in the country and is in conversation with World Athletics.

"We are in conversation with the World Athletics and plan to host a continental-level event very soon," Adille said.

"The important part is the time slot of the event that fits into our calendar. I don't want a March event when my athletes are in pre-season. I don't want an event in October when the season is over," he concluded.

World Athletics Continental Tour is an annual series of independent track and field competitions. The Tour forms the second tier of international one-day meetings after the Diamond League.

India hasn't hosted a major international competition in recent few years and the spectators will be itching to see the international stars competing against Indian athletes.

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