Seema, Mayookha to lead Indian challenge

Seema, Mayookha to lead Indian challenge

Commonwealth Games gold medallist discus thrower Krishna Poonia, triple jumper Renjith Maheswary and national record holder in women’s triple jump M A Prajusha all will miss the event to be held at Jiaxing (May 22), Kunshan (May 26) and Wunjiang (May 29).
Poonia, recovering from a knee injury, is expected to take part in the National Inter-State meet in Bangalore from June 11-14. Tintu Luka, the national record holder in women’s 800M, has already pulled out of the series, saying she was not yet ready to return to action after an injury-induced break.

In their absence, national record holder in women’s discus Seema Antil and triple jump ace Mayookha Johny will spearhead India’s challenge.

Samsher Pratap Singh, who won the two legs of the Indian Grand Prix at Patiala early this month, and Maha Singh will compete in the men’s long jump while Ghamanda Ram and Sajeesh Joseph will take part in the 800M.

Also conspicuous is the absence of relay teams, both in the men’s and women’s sections. The series was a good opportunity for the Indians to get into the groove ahead of the Asian meet but with no top athlete in form, the Atheltics Federation of India has decided to let this chance go. Debashree Majumdar, meanwhile, is the lone Indian entry in the women’s 400M.

Change of coach
Mayookha will be heading to the Asian Grand Prix with a new coach guiding her. The 23-year-old had switched from her previous coach Jose Mathew to train under Shyam Kumar, the SAF Games long jump gold medal winner in 1987 and 1991.

Mayookha had opened her season with a promising 13.65M effort in the first Indian Grand Prix before skipping the second one. Shyam, who will be accompanying the team to China, said he was confident that Mayookha would do well in the series.

The team:

Men: Shameer Mon (100M); Kunhu Muhammed (400M): Ghamanda Ram and Sajeesh Joseph (800M); Hari Shankar Roy and Jithin Thomas (high jump); Maha Singh and Shamsher Pratap Singh (long jump); Arpinder Singh (triple jump); Vikas Poonia (discus throw).
Women: Debashree Majumdar (400M); Mayookha Johny (triple jump); Seema Antil (discus throw); Suman Devi (javelin throw).
Coaches: Ranbir Singh (sprints), Shyamkumar (jumps); Noel Willam Dass (Masseur). Manager: K Ranga Rao.