Adille Sumariwalla, President of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), is expressing optimism about the Indian track and field team’s chances at the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games in China. Sumariwalla was recently elected as one of the vice Presidents of World Athletics, highlighting his influence and expertise in the field.
In the 2018 continental games, the Indian athletics team secured a respectable third place, trailing behind Asian powerhouse China and Bahrain. China amassed 34 medals, including 12 gold, 13 silver, and 9 bronze, while Bahrain secured 22 medals, with 10 gold, 6 silver, and 6 bronze. The AFI has been diligently preparing for the Asian Games, which are set to begin on September 23. The organization is confident in the team’s ability to perform well in the track and field events, which will commence on September 29.
During a virtual media interaction before the fifth leg of the two-day Indian Grand Prix meeting, Sumariwalla stated, “The Indian athletes gave a good account of themselves at the just concluded August 19 to 27 Budapest World Athletics Championships held in Hungary.” He highlighted the impressive performance of the male Indian javelin throwers, including Neeraj Chopra, who emerged as the eventual winner. Kishore Kumar Jena, in his debut appearance, secured fifth place, while DP Manu finished in sixth place, showcasing India’s strength in javelin.
Sumariwalla also commended Parul Chaudhary and Ajay Kumar Saroj for their exceptional performances at the World Championships. Chaudhary set a new national record in the women’s 3000m steeplechase with a time of 9:15.31 seconds, while Saroj achieved a season-best time of 3:38.24 seconds in the 1500m event. These strong performances in the lead-up to the Asian Games have significantly boosted the confidence of the Indian athletes.
Sumariwalla further stated, “The Indian contingent will be bigger and stronger this time. We have shortlisted 65 athletes, and there are chances to add another 15 athletes depending on whether they meet the qualification criteria set by the AFI during the two-day IGP in Chandigarh.” The qualification time for the men’s 4x100m relay is 39 seconds, while the women’s 4x100m relay squad must achieve a time of 44.50 seconds.
The competition is scheduled to begin on Sunday at 3.30 pm at the newly laid synthetic track at Sector 7 Sports Complex. Meanwhile, Jyothi Yarraji, a specialist in the 100m hurdles, expressed her excitement about competing in the women’s 4x100m relay. She sees this as a great opportunity to secure a place in the relay team for the Asian Games.
In conclusion, the Indian track and field team, led by President Adille Sumariwalla, is gearing up for the Hangzhou Asian Games with high hopes. Their strong performance at the Budapest World Athletics Championships and the addition of new talents to the team have instilled confidence in the athletes. With careful preparation and determination, the Indian contingent aims to make a mark in the upcoming Asian Games.