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Road to Paris 2024 qualification for Indian athletes in Track & Field

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As I sit down to write this article, I realise Paris 2024 is just over a month away and a nervous energy grips me.

The wait for the magical fortnight that comes every four years is finally going to be over. Tokyo 2020 was different. I knew Neeraj Chopra was good, but I would have been lying, if I had said he would be winning gold.

Now that we have had a taste of how it feels, it is natural to yearn for more.

Let me get some things out straight. I do not think we are winning more than 1 athletics medal. But that’s not the whole point, is it?

I think many Indian athletes have done brilliantly in the last Olympic cycle and an all-round improvement is expected, even though that might not translate into medals. In Tokyo, only one athlete set a personal best (PB) and this time around, I expect more PBs and finalists.

As most of you might know already, there are two routes to qualify for the track and field events at the Paris Olympics. One is matching or bettering the qualifying standard; the second is through the ‘Road to Paris’ qualification rankings.

Here is the list of Indian athletes who have qualified by entry standards.

Men:

1. Avinash Sable- Men’s 3000m steeplechase
2. 4 athletes have bettered the 20 km race walk standard- which 3 are nominated remains to be seen- Akshdeep Singh, Ram Baboo, Vikash Singh and Paramjeet Singh Bisht are the contenders.
3. Murali Sreeshankar- Men’s long jump
4. Neeraj Chopra and Kishore Jena- Men’s javelin throw

I’m gutted that Sreeshankar will miss this Olympics– wretched luck! That’ll make it a total of 6 men.

Women:

1. Parul Chaudhary- Women’s 3000m steeplechase
2. Priyanka Goswami- Women’s 20km race walk

 

End of list.

Apart from this, both the men’s and women’s 4* 400m teams have qualified via the World Relays competition, which was held in the Bahamas.

There will be one Indian team in the marathon mixed team walking relay event (the event debuting in Paris). A lot was said about the potential of a mixed 4* 400m team- unfortunately, they will not compete in Paris.

That would make it a total of 16 athletes in 8 events, who have automatically qualified.

Now let us who is well placed to qualify by rankings. The rankings will be finalised on June 30th. Athletes outside the qualification zone will have a final chance in the Inter-States meet at Panchkula from June 27th to 30th.

Men Qualifying to Paris

As you can see in the above table, 5 Indian male athletes are well-placed to qualify via rankings. The ones with an outside chance are Sarvesh Kushare in High Jump and Santosh Kumar Tamilarasan in 400m hurdles. The ones who have done brilliantly to be so high on this list but will be unlucky to miss out are Gulveer Singh in 5000m and Kartik Kumar in 10000m.

a– Blank row indicates that no Indian is in the qualifying places. b– Blank row indicates that no Indian is in the World Athletics ‘Road to Paris’ ranking list.

As you can see in the table, 3 more Indian female athletes are set to qualify via rankings; one more- Ankita Dhyani is so close and is also through for all practical purposes in 5000m. Parul Chaudhary has to be the most unsung Indian athlete- a remarkable achievement to qualify in 2 events. Shaili Singh, from whom so much was expected, and Nayana James are going to miss out unless something drastic happens in the senior national Inter-States at Panchkula.

Watch all the action on the YT feed for InterStates at AFI Channel.

Come On, India!

Written by Sundaram T G

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