AFI goes by form book, names 26-member squad for Tokyo Olympics

The 26-member team includes 16 athletes, who will compete in the individual events, five male athletes for the men's 4x400m relay event, and two men and three women for the mixed 4x400m relay.

As expected, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) went by form book while announcing a 26-member team for Tokyo Olympic Games.

Out of the 26, 12 athletes got direct entry in individual events apart from the 4x400m mixed relay team. Sprinter Dutee Chand (women’s 100m and 200m), MP Jabir (men’s 400m hurdles), Gurpreet Singh (men’s 50km race walk), and Annu Rani (women’s javelin throw) got the nod on the basis of the World Athletics’s Road to Tokyo rankings.

“We’re confident of making an impact this time and hope to bring home that elusive Olympic medal in athletics from Tokyo,” P Radhakrishnan, chief national coach, told indianexpress.com on Monday after announcing the team. Sprinter Dutee Chand is the only athlete who will be competing in two events — 100m and 200m.

Tamil Nadu runners Revath V, Subha V, and Dhanlakshmi S were picked after their performances in the trial for selecting the women runners for the mixed relay team while Naganathan Pandi, Sathalk Bhambri, and Alex Antony made it to the men’s squad.

“We now have high hopes about our men’s 4x400m relay team. Let’s wait and watch. If they can qualify for the final then it will be anybody’s guess,’’ another top AFI official told indianexpress.com on the combination of Indian relay teams.

He also informed that coaches and the support staff who will accompany the squad will be named only on July 7.

The athletics events in the Tokyo Olympic Games will commence on July 31 and will end on August 9.

Indian squad for Tokyo Games

MEN: Avinash Sable (3000m Steeplechase); MP Jabir (400m hurdles), M Sreeshankar (long jump); Tajinderpal Singh Toor (shot put); Neeraj Chopra and Shivapal Singh (javelin throw); K T Irfan, Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Rohilla (20km race walk) and Gurpreet Singh (50km race walk); 4x400m relay: Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv, Md Anas Yahiya, Naganathan Pandi, Noah Nirmal Tom; 4x400m mixed relay: Sarthak Bhambri, Alex Antony

WOMEN: Dutee Chand (100m and 200m); Kamalpreet Kaur and Seema Punia (discus throw), Annu Rani (javelin throw); Bhawna Jat and Priyanka Goswami (20km race walk) and 4x400m mixed relay: Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan & Dhanlakshmi Sekhar.

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