Indian winners lash out at AFI

Indian winners lash out at AFI

Sunil KumarSunil, the Federation Cup champion in 5000 and 10000M, finished seven-hundredths of a second faster than Arvind. Both were credited with a time of 30:47 while Santosh Kumar claimed the third spot in 30:50.

Santosh’s wife Preethi L Rao won the Indian women’s race, clocking 37:47. Both the winners took home Rs 1.50 lakh, with the second and third-placed athletes getting Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively.|

Even in celebratory mood, the winners didn’t mince words in criticising the Athletics Federation of India’s decision not to recognise this event. They were also critical of the move by coach Nikolay Snesarev to slam the door on many runners from the national camps.

"When I was in the national camp, I used to improve my timing. After I was kicked out of the camp, my employer Western Railways asked me to join for duty. Obviously, that affected my preparations. After eight hours of work, I hardly get time to practice. I could have done better had I got more time to train. I am not happy with today's performance," said Santosh, who has fully recovered from the injuries he suffered from a stabbing incident here last August.

 Preethi Rao.Santosh, who married Preethi in November last year, didn’t have nice words for the authorities. "They kicked me out of the camp for no fault of mine,” said Santosh. “An athlete can improve his timing only if he is given enough training. But the officials only want medals. They won't see things from athletes’ point of view."
Preethi, who is switching over to marathon running, said she didn’t have enough training for this event.

“I had taken a long break after my marriage. I resumed practice only for this race. My aim was to run for the country in the Commonwealth Games. I have taken a huge risk by competing in the World 10K. Now I know that my CWG dreams are in peril. I know what is happening in the camps but I don’t want to comment on it,” she said.

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