AFI picks 26 including Neeraj Chopra for Tokyo Olympics


India’s star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra is prominent in the 26-member squad announced by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held from July 23 to August 8.

“We are happy that the national squad is well prepared, physically and emotionally, for the Olympic Games. We are pleased that our athletes have remained in training ever since the lockdown was lifted. The federation is looking forward to a good show by the team,” said Adille Sumariwalla, president AFI, in a release issued on Monday.

The Tokyo Olympic Games will officially open on July 23, but track and field events will start from July 31.

As many as 12 athletes and the 4x400m mixed relay team has achieved entry standards laid down by World Athletics, to secure automatic berths.

Dutee Chand (women’s 100m and 200m), MP Jabir (men’s 400m hurdles), Gurpreet Singh (men’s 50km race walk) and Annu Rani (women’s javelin throw) qualified for the Olympics in their respective events on the basis of their world rankings points.

The squad:

Men: Avinash Sable (3000m steeplechase); MP Jabir (400m hurdles): M Sreeshankar (long jump); Tajinderpal Singh Toor (shot put); Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh (javelin throw); KT Irfan, Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Rohilla (20km race walk) and Gurpreet Singh (50km walk); 4x400m men’s relay: Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv, Muhammed Anas, Naganathan Pandi, Noah Nirmal Tom; 4x400m mixed relay: Sarthak Bhambri, Alex Antony.

Women: Dutee Chand (100m and 200m); Kamalpreet Kaur and Seema Antil-Punia (discus throw) and Annu Rani (javelin throw); Bhawna Jat and Priyanka Goswami (20km race walk) and Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan and Dhanlakshmi Sekhar (mixed 4x400m relay).