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Hima Das will miss Asian Games: National Athletics chief coach Nair

Hima Das is set to miss the Asian Games due to a hamstring injury confirmed National Athletics chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair.

Hima Das will miss Asian Games: National Athletics chief coach Nair


Updated: 14 Jun 2023 3:51 PM GMT

Star sprinter Hima Das will miss the upcoming Asian Games in China due to a hamstring injury sustained last April, Indian athletics chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair confirmed on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Hima had won a 400m individual silver at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. She was also a part of the gold and silver winning women's 4x400m and mixed 4x400m relay quartet in Jakarta.

"It is unfortunate she (Hima) was injured a day before the Indian Grand Prix IV in Bengaluru (on April 15). She pulled a hamstring and also had a back problem. Now, the medical investigation is going on and planning for treatment. I believe that she will not be able to participate in the Asian Games as per the policy of the AFI," Nair said.

Due to the injury, Hima had also missed the Federation Cup in Ranchi last month and Nair had then told PTI that the federation was hoping that she would be fit to take part in the National Inter-State Championship, which is the final selection event for the Hangzhou Asian Games.

The Athletics Federation of India had made it clear that all the athletes, except for those granted exemption, will have to participate in the National Inter-State Championship beginning here on Thursday to be considered for the Asian Games in Hangzhou scheduled from September 23 to October 8. A

Ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and 2022 Commonwealth Games and 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Avinash Sable were exempted from the five-day championship which is the final selection event for the Asian Games.

Nair also said that officials from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) will also carry out 'In Competition' (IC) testing at the Kalinga Stadium. "I am 100 percent sure that NADA officials are coming. They could be from Kolkata or some from Delhi also. During the Federation Cup in Ranchi (last month), there was a team of 7-8 officials. "Now, NADA is very strict, they are appointing so many officials, so they would be coming here also," Nair said during a rare pre-championship press conference.

He also said that Olympic champion Chopra, who had pulled out of two top events -- FBK Games in the Netherlands and Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland -- due to a muscle strain he sustained last month, has started training but is yet to recover fully. "He (Neeraj) started his training last week and should be in good health by the end of this month," Nair said.

Nair said the AFI plans to send a big contingent of at least 60 athletes to compete at the July 12 to 16 Asian Athletics Championship scheduled to be held in Bangkok, Thailand.

The team will be declared after a selection review meeting on June 20.

"We have done a preliminary selection and there were athletes who could not participate in the Federation Cup (last month) as they were training abroad. They have to confirm their performance in the Inter-State. We will have a selection review meeting on June 20 and then we will declare the team," he said.

"For example, Tejaswin Shankar has done one decathlon event and he must qualify for Asian Championships with the qualifying mark of 7500 aggregate points in the Inter-State."

Chopra and Sable will also not participate in the Asian Championship as their main focus is on the World Championship in Hungary (August 19-27).

"Due to a packed 2023 season, both the athletes (Neeraj and Sable) are competing in selected events this year as the emphasis is a podium finish at the Budapest World Championship and then the Asian Games," Nair said.

The chief coach also said that India can win an Asian Games medal in men's 4x400m relay if an athlete who runs sub-46sec emerges in the National Inter-State.

He, however, was not very positive regarding winning a gold medal in Hangzhou in the women's 4x400m relay, a traditionally strong event for India.

"We have three male runners who are capable of racing a quarter-mile below 46 seconds. We are hopeful of having a strong men’s 4x400m relay team. We have a history of winning four gold in women's 4x400m relay gold in the Asian Games. "We can win a medal but not gold because as per my understanding, there are still very good athletes (quarter milers) outside (the national camp). If they join (national camp), we can try."

Nair also said that India could get as many as four javelin throwers making it to the World Championships as Chopra will be a wild-card entrant as Diamond League champion.

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