Ashwini in the fray

Most of the leading athletes are expected to take part in the four-day event, which will be an important step for those aiming for the Asian Championships at Kobe in Japan next month.

May 31 was the last date for national federations to submit entries to the Japanese organisers and with the national team more or less finalised, performances here will be used by the Athletics Federation of India to ascertain the athletes’ form ahead of the big meet.

CN Ashwath Narayana, senior vice-president of the Karnataka Athletics Association, said all arrangements had been made for the event. Century Builders, Apex Bank and the State Government are backing the event, which is expected to be telecast live by Doordarshan, he told a press conference.

Meanwhile, Karnataka’s leading sprinter Nirupama Sunderraj has decided to give the event a miss while the team received a boost with Asian Games champion A C Ashwini confirming her participation.

Nirupama, who began training this season only in April, is targeting September’s Open Nationals for a return to the competition, according to her coach VR Beedu.

Ashwini was not in the original squad released by KAA but its secretary Sathyanarayana said the athlete had informed the association that she would be competing in the meet.

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