The women’s 200m and the men’s 5000m races could well provide the fireworks on the opening day of the 59th National Inter-State Athletics Championships at the PAC Stadium here on Tuesday. Though as many as nine finals scheduled for the day, it could be these two events that could hold interest fans of track and field sport the most.
Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand’s decision to focus on the 100m will leave the 200m field open for the likes of Tamil Nadu’s ArchanaSuseendran and V Revathi to battle it out with each other for the gold medal onTuesday. It could well be the track event to watch as Archana, the fastest Indian over the distance this year, will lead their bid to stop the clock inside 23.02 seconds and qualify for World Athletics Championship 2019.
Archana, who clocked 23.18 seconds in the Indian Grand Prix V in Patiala on August 16 to top Dutee Chand’s 23.24 seconds achieved in the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha on April 24, could face stiff competition from Revathi for the title.
Navjeet Kaur Dhillon is likely to draw the most attention when the women’s Discus Throw competition gets under way. The Punjab thrower will be looking to improve on her year’s best show of 57.47m achieved in Doha in April. With Kamalpreet Kaur, the only Indian who has thrown beyond 60m not competing, West Bengal’s Suravi Biswas will have to challenge NavjeetDhillon.
Of the two men’s finals scheduled for Tuesday, the 5000m could perhaps be more interesting to watch as a contest. For the entry list boasts of intense competitors like G Lakshmanan (Tamil Nadu) and GavitMurli Kumar (Gujarat), who will both be out to regain their spot in the National camp, and Maharashtra’s KalidasHirave and KisanTadvi.
Besides, Uttarakhand had entered marathoner Nitendra Singh Rawat. The presence of Gujarat youngster Ajit Kumar, who is in the development group in the National camp, can spice up proceedings. The women’s race could well be a duel between Parul Chaudhary (Uttar Pradesh) and L Suriya (Tamil Nadu).
For many athletes, this is the last chance to meet the qualifying standards laid down by the IAAF for the World Championships to be held in Doha next month. The meet, originally slated to be held in Kolkata in July, was rescheduled after the West Bengal Athletics Association expressed its inability to host it.
Men’s: 5000m and Pole Vault.
Women’s; 200m; 5000m; Discus Throw; Hammer Throw; High Jump; and 20km race walk.
Mixed: 4x400m relay.