Hima Das, Tejaswin Shankar - Who are the big names in Athletics to miss out on Tokyo Olympics?
In this piece, we'll take a look at the biggest stars in Indian Athletics to miss out on Tokyo Olympics
We've seen how injuries, nationwide lockdown and the Coronavirus pandemic have affected several athletes' preparation. Many prominent Indian athletes failed to book their tickets to Tokyo after what has been a difficult year and a half. Let's take a look at the athletes we'll miss at the Tokyo Olympics:
1. Tejaswin Shankar – High Jump
22-year-old Tejaswin Shankar competes in the High Jump category. Shankar burst onto the scene by winning the gold medal at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games and set a Games record of 2.14m. The high jumper gained national prominence when he broke Hari Shankar Roy's national record of 2.25m which had stood for 12 years.
During qualification for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Tejaswin Shankar jumped a distance of 2.28m – a new national record. He bettered his own record by jumping 2.29m in April 2018.
Tejaswin Shankar's only hope of making it to the Olympics was recording a jump of 2.33m at the Inter-State Meet in Patiala. However, it proved to be too difficult a challenge. As a result, he'll miss out on Tokyo Olympics.
2. Sudha Singh – 3000m Steeplechase
A veteran athlete, Sudha Singh has been representing India in international events since 2005. Sudha Singh broke through by winning the gold medal in 3000m Steeplechase at the 2010 Asian Games. She followed it up with a silver at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.
Singh has represented India at the 2012 London Olympics as well as the 2016 Rio Olympics. She finished 13th in London and failed to make it to the finals. In Rio, Singh soon fell ill after competing and was diagnosed with Swine Flu.
Sudha Singh failed to crack the Olympic Games' qualification mark in women's 3000m Steeplechase at the National Inter-State Athletics Championships.
3. Jinson Johnson – 800m, 1500m
Middle Distance Runner Jinson Johnson specializes in the 800m and 1500m events. Johnson had qualified for Rio 2016 in the 800m event with a personal best time of 1:45.98. Johnson broke the 800m national record of Sriram Singh in June 2018 at the Inter-State Athletics Championships.
Jinson also finished fifth in the 1500m event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and ended up breaking Bahadur Prasad's 23-year-old national record in that category. In 2018, he also won the gold medal in the 1500m event and silver in the 800m event at the Asian Games in Jakarta.
An Achilles tendon injury, a nationwide lockdown and contracting COVID-19 ended Johnson's hopes of making it to the Tokyo Olympics.
4. Arpinder Singh – Triple Jump
Triple Jumper Arpinder Singh arrived at the scene after winning the bronze medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. At the 2014 National Inter-State Championships in Lucknow, the qualifying event for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, he broke the national record held by Ranjith Maheshwary with a jump of 17.17m. Maheshwary later reclaimed his record in 2016.
Arpinder Singh shot to fame after winning the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games. He became only the second Indian since Mohinder Singh in 1970 to win a gold medal in the triple jump event at the Asian Games.
Despite having high hopes of making it to the Tokyo Olympics, the lack of training for a long time due to the second wave of Coronavirus and a subsequent knee pain destroyed Arpinder Singh's dreams this time around.
5. Dharun Ayyasamy – 400m, 400m Hurdles, 4x400m Relay
Dharun Ayyasamy specializes in the 400m and 400m Hurdles event and also took part in the 4x400m relay event at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Dharun bagged the 400m Hurdles gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati with a time of 50.54s. He was also in the relay team that broke the 4x400m national record at Bangalore in 2016 and qualified for the Olympics. A men's relay team from India had qualified for the Olympics for only the third time after 1964 and 2000.
Dharun also clinched the silver medal in 400m hurdles as well as the 4x400m relay at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. He failed to secure Olympic qualification this time around.
6. Manjit Singh – 800m, 1500m
Indian middle-distance runner Manjit Singh stunned the nation by clinching the gold medal in 800m at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. He even shocked his compatriot Jinson Johnson and became the first Indian to win a gold medal in that event in 36 years recording a personal best time of 1:46.15.
He failed to meet the Olympic qualification time in both 800m and 1500m at the Federation Cup in march.
7. Hima Das – 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay, 4x400m mixed relay
Nicknamed the Dhing Express, Hima Das is a sprinter from the state of Assam. She shot to national prominence after winning gold medals in 4x400 relay and 4x400m mixed relay at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. Hima Das also won bagged the silver medal in Women's 400m at Jakarta. Her time of 50.79s in the final of the 400m event is currently the national record.
She became the first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal at an international track event after finishing first in the 400m final at the 2018 World U-20 Championships in Finland.
Das is set to miss the Tokyo Olympics after sustaining a hamstring injury while running the 100m heats. She was replaced in the Women's 4x100m relay team which also failed to make the Olympic cut.