Grand Prix athletics: Javelin thrower Annu keen to book Olympic spot

Uttar Pradesh’s international javelin thrower Annu Rani is looking forward to a good start to the current competitive season when she steps competes in the second leg of the one-day Indian Grand Prix being held at Patiala’s National Institute of Sports on Thursday.

As per the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) start list for Thursday’s javelin throw event, participation is skeletal. Haryana’s Sharmila Kumari, the 2018 Open National champion is amongst the four other competitors in fray.

Given the fact Sharmila hasn’t crossed the 60m mark, she might not pose a stiff challenge to Annu, who has been in the national camp since last November.

Despite good performance during the 2019 Doha World Championships, Annu recorded her personal best of 62.43m but fell short of Tokyo Olympic qualification distance of 64m.

“The training has been good. All I’m expecting is an outstanding performance. Last time, I missed booking an Olympic berth, but now I am determined to qualify,” Annu told IANS.

For outstation athletes participating in the event as per government Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to resume sports competition, it’s mandatory to have a Covid-19 RT-PCR negative report issued 72 hours before the start of the competition.

The AFI rejected entries of as many as 29 athletes for the second leg for failing to furnish required details of achieving the entry standard. There were seven in the 100m sprint while five failed to register for the 400m event. Javelin, shot put and long jump were other events in which athletes were denied entry due to lack of proper documents to support their recent past performance.