Haryana sprinter Anjali Devi has pulled out of the women’s 400 metres event of the Senior National Federation Cup athletics due to injury. The competition starts on Monday in Patiala.
The 23-year-old athlete said she had pulled her thigh muscles recently during a training session in Patiala.
“The doctor has advised me to take a break from training for four to six weeks. I’m undergoing rehabilitation. That is why I can’t compete in the first major competition of the season,” Anjali told IANS.
Anjali’s personal best of 51.53 seconds, clocked during the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Meet in Lucknow in October 2019, was the fastest time of the season.
She also competed at the Doha World Athletics Championships the same year, but failed to advance to the semi-finals of the 400m race.
The upcoming sprinter had set a target of 51.35 seconds, the Tokyo Olympic qualification time for the women’s 400m, for the Federation Cup.
The Indian mixed 4x400m relay team has qualified for Olympics, but none of the individual male or female athletes have achieved the qualifying time for Olympics starting July 23.
In the second leg of the Indian Grand Prix held in February, Anjali had participated in the 200m. Her winning time was 23.57 seconds.
“After the race, I felt mild pain in the thigh muscles. It aggravated the next day during training. I knew something was wrong so I went to the doctor for treatment. I was advised rest,” she said.
Anjali’s withdrawal has further depleted the 400m field.
Hima Das, 21, the national record holder with 50.79 seconds and Asian Games medallist, too, has switched to 100m and 200m this season.
In all, 19 athletes have registered for the women’s 400m event.