Top Indian athletes, including several medal winners at the recent Asian Championships, will vie for honours at the 57th National Inter-State Athletics Championships starting here tomorrow. The four-day Championships, which will see a newly-laid blue synthetic track, will be the last chance for those athletes who are yet to attain the qualifying mark for the IAAF World Championships scheduled for August 4-13 in London. Upbeat after putting India on top of the medal tally at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar recently, the likes of Mohammed Anas, Ajay Kumar Saroj, Manpreet Singh and other elite Indian athletes will be in action again at the Acharya Nagarjuna University. Among those set to miss the championships is national record holder half miler Tintu Luka, who ran at the Asian Championships despite not being well.
She pulled out of the race after 500m at Bhubaneswar. Athletics Federation of India secretary general C K Valson said, "Most Indian athletes who participated in the recently concluded Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar will be participating in the Inter-State Championships. "Those athletes who have already attained the qualifying mark for the World Championships will participate to improve their performance while for others it is a golden chance to impress the selection committee. The composition of 4x400m men and women relay teams for World Championships will also be decided after the Guntur meet." The selection committee for finalising the Indian team for the World Championships is scheduled to meet on July 20 at the AFI headquarters in New Delhi.