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AFI names 31-member athletics team for CWG

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Federation of today named a 31-member Indian track and field team (18 men and 13 women) for the upcoming in Gold Coast.

Junior World Champion thrower is set to make his debut at the CWG. Neeraj recently won gold at the Federation Cp with an effort of 85.94m, which is the second best effort of his career.

has been offered a quota of 37 in but the AFI selection committee, which met after the conclusion of the March 5-8 Federation Cup National Championships in Patiala, chose only 31.

In the last edition in in 2014, had 32 track and field athletes and won three medals (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze).

Besides Neeraj, promising high jumper Tejaswin Shankar, veteran thrower Seema Punia, triple jumper Arpinder Singh and new 400m hurdles national record holder Dharun Ayyaswamy were also named in the team.

Punia, who will be taking part in her fourth CWG, had won a silver in the last edition in while Arpinder had clinched a bronze. The lone gold winner in Glasgow, thrower is not taking part this time.

Four 20km race walkers -- two men and two women -- have already been named from the separate national championships held here last month.

The team also has the men's and women's 4x400m relay teams as both the events have been The men's relay team comprise six members while the women's team has five as quartermiler Vijayakunari GK, who won the silver in the Federation Cup behind Hima Das, was not agreeable to offer to include him on the condition of joining national camp.

The composition of the team was on expected lines except for one or two and all the 10 athletes, who crossed the qualifying mark during the Federation Cup got selected while three who did well during the first leg of the on February 27 at Patiala, also made the

"The selection of the team was a smooth affair and all the decisions were unanimous among the members. We have chosen all those who have crossed the qualifying standards and some more who got close to the mark," GS told

"We decided that we need not fill up all the quota of 37 because we cannot send the athletes who were much below the qualifying standards. There is no point sending an who have a remote chance of a medal," he added.

thrower Navjeet Kaur Dhillon and thrower were the two athletes, who were picked on the basis of their performance at the

Dhillon crossed the 59m qualifying mark with a best throw of 59.18m at the though she was below par at the Federation Cup with an effort of 57.75m, which fetched her a silver behind

"The Federation Cup served as a selection trial for the CWG but we have always maintained that the performance of the athletes at the Grand Prix will also be considered for selection," AFI C K valson said.

Kasana cleared 80.04m at the and since his mark was was near to the qualifying mark of 81.80m, he was included in the CWG team. He, however, did not take part in the Federation Cup, which may lead to the raised eyebrows from some quarters.

Asked about Kasana being picked despite skipping the Federation Cup, said:"The selection committee members were told that Kasana's and the team doctor advised him rest. That was why he did not take part in Since he crossed 80m at the IGP, we considered that he can be at the top bracket in the competition."

The third who was picked on the basis of his Indian Grand Prix performance was triple jumper Arayan although he finished fourth with an effort of 16.31m while the qualifying mark was 16.60m. Babu, however, had won with a jump of 16.59m.

Valson also said that senior quartermilers Mohd. and have agreed to join the national camp from now on and that was why they were included in the men's and women's 4x400m relay teams. They were earlier training outside the national camp.

"Poovamma and Mohd. have agreed to join the national camp and do training for the relays. Vijayakunari did not agree to it and so she was not selected. That was why we have selected just a five member realy team (including who will run individual 400m race)," Valson said.

The CWG team:

Men: Jinson Johnson (men's 1500m), Dharun Ayyasamy (400m, 4x400m relay), Tejaswin Shankar (high jump), (high jump), Sreeshankar (long jump), Arpinder Singh (triple jump), (triple jump), Tajinderpal Singh Toor (shot put), (throw), (javelin throw), (20km race walk), (20km race walk), Yahiya (4x400m relay), Jeevan Karekoppa Suresh (4x400m relay), Amoj Jacob (4x400m relay), Kunhu Mohammed (4x400m relay), Jithu Baby (4x400m relay), Arokiya Rajiv (4x400m relay)

Women: (200m & 400m, 4x400m relay), Suriya Longanathan (10000m), Nayana James (long jump), Neena Pinto (long jump), (discus throw), Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (discus throw), Purnima Hembram (heptahalon), Soumya Baby (20km race walk), Khushbir Kaur (20km race walk), (4x400m relay), (4x400m relay), Saritaben Laxmanbhai Gayakwad (4x400m relay), (4x400m relay).

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 20:55 IST