Indian athletes eye bright start

Star­ved of competitive action, many of India’s leading athletes will be hoping to make a bright start to the season at 54th National Inter-State athletics championships, beginning at the PAC Stadium here on Thursday.

The event has been dubbed as selection trials for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow next month, but it will be tough on athletes to hit the right notes straightaway, after having been confined to the camps till now.

Lack of proper planning on part of the Athletics Federation of India has caused such a situation, with the federation cancelling the Indian Grand Prix series, after the Asian Athletics Association also decided against holding the Asian Grand Prix series this season.

Barring the likes of Tintu Luka and Vikas Gowda -- who competed in the Diamond League meet in Doha -- others haven’t had any taste of competition if one leaves out the event conducted by the Sports Authority of India.

Vikas, who is competing in the Rome Diamond League meet on Thursday, will miss the competition here, while Tintu will be taking part. A clutch of other athletes also will be missing in action here, including discus throwers Krishna Poonia and Seema Poonia, pole vaulter Khyati Vakaria and hammer thrower Kamalpreet Singh, who are training abroad. 

Kamalpreet had bettered an 11-year-old national record with a 70.37M mark at Tucson ten days ago. 

Meanwhile, long-distance runner Preeja Sridharan and steeplechaser Sudha Singh, trained by Nikolai Snesarev of Belarus, the foreign expert for the endurance events, will also take part in the event.

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