Open Nationals to kick off today

Railways, ONGC to battle it out

The meet, however, will lack some sheen as Tintu Luka (800M), Gurmeet Singh (20 km) and Vikas Gowda (discus throw) have opted to pull out.

In prime form, Sudha, who clinched the 3000M steeplechase gold in Guangzhou 2010, will look to make the cut as she will represent defending champions Railways in the four-day competition.

“Sudha has the best chance to attain the Olympic qualification mark from here. She is in peak form,” coach JS Bhatia said.

Preeja and Kavita Raut, who will compete in 5,000M and 10,000M events for ONGC, however may have some difficulty to reach the qualifying marks for Olympics.

Champions Indian Railways will be among the 30 teams from states, union territories, boards and institutions who will vie for top honours in the four-day meet. ONGC will be their main rivals.

Coaches unhappy
The ageing synthetic track has come in for criticism from many coaches. Long jump coach MA George said the track, laid way back in 1987, will come in the way of good performances.

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