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Amlan Borgohain to be included in Asian Games squad

Assam sprinter Amlan Borgohain, who was initially left out of India's Athletics contingent for the 2023 Asian Games, will be included in the final list of athletes to be released on September 11. This follows a peculiar 'campaign for justice' for Amlan.

Amlan Borgohain athlete

Indian national champion Amlan Borgohain


Dipankar Lahiri

Updated: 5 Sep 2023 10:13 AM GMT

The trend of unusual developments in Athletics from Assam continued as a week-long 'campaign for justice' for Amlan Borgohain, India's 200m national record holder, to be included in India's Asian Games contingent, culminated in an apparent victory on Monday.

Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla confirmed on Monday, while categorically denying that this is a result of the campaign for 'justice', that Amlan will indeed be included in the final list of athletes to be sent to the Asian Games in Hangzhou, set to start from September 23.

"What justice are u talking about. He is selected by Athletics Fed and his entry is also sent to IOA and to OCA. Writing anything to Hon Sports Min and Hon PM has become a fashion. Yes he was not in the first list as he had not qualified, but his name will appear in the final list," the AFI president replied to a tweet by an Assamese journalist which had tagged the PMO and the Union sports minister asking for 'justice'.

There has been a social media campaign to get 'justice' for Amlan over the last few days despite the fact that Amlan did not meet the qualification criteria set by the AFI before the list had been sent to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in July.

However, in August, at the World University Games in Chengdu, China, Amlan breached the qualification mark of 20.61s in the 200m event twice. Out of 13 races run this year, those two were the only times his timing came down below the 20.61s mark.

AFI had said that the Inter-state meet in Odisha in June would be the last event for selection.

However, the twin realisations that Amlan had been excluded from the Asian Games contingent (when the list of athletes was released last week after clearance from the Sports ministry) and that Amlan had in fact breached the qualification mark for the 200m event (even though it was after the cut-off period) led to 'protests' in Assam.

When The Bridge reached out to Lakhya Konwar, vice-president of the Assam Olympic Association, on Sunday, he said that he had spoken to AFI officials and been assured that Amlan would be included in a final list of athletes to be released on September 11.

The confirmation from AFI has finally come on Monday via a tweet from the AFI president.

Incidentally, an addendum to the notice for the Indian Grand Prix 5, set to be held in Chandigarh on September 10-11, highlights that the IGP-5 event can also act as a qualifying event to the Asian Games.

Clearly, there is more last-minute drama in store in Athletics.

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