The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) named a 37-member Indian athletics team, to be led by Olympic gold medal winning javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, for the Commonwealth Games, with the selection committee picking the athletes on expected lines.
Men: Avinash Sable (3000m Steeplechase); Nitender Rawat (Marathon); M Sreeshankar and Muhammed Anees Yahiya (Long Jump); Abdulla Aboobacker, Praveen Chithravel and Eldhose Paul (Triple Jump); Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Shot Put); Neeraj Chopra, DP Manu and Rohit Yadav (Javelin Throw); Sandeep Kumar and Amit Khatri (Race Walking); Amoj Jacob, Noah Nirmal Tom, Arokia Rajiv, Muhammed Ajmal, Naganathan Pandi and Rajesh Ramesh (4x400m Relay). Women: S Dhanalakshmi (100m and 4x100m relay); Jyothi Yarraji (100m Hurdles); Aishwarya B (Long Jump and Triple Jump) and Ancy Sojan (Long Jump); Manpreet Kaur (Shot Put); Navjeet Kaur Dhilllon and Seema Antil Punia (Discus Throw); Annu Rani and Shilpa Rani (Javelin Throw); Manju Bala Singh and Sarita Romit Singh (Hammer Throw); Bhawna Jat and Priyanka Goswami (Race Walking); Hima Das, Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, MV Jilna and NS Simi (4x100m relay).
Wins Kuortane Games
Neeraj, meanwhile, clinched his first top podium finish of the season by winning the javelin throw event at the Kuortane Games in Finland, beating reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada for the second time in four days. The 24-year-old Neeraj’s opening throw of 86.69m turned out to be the winning distance. Trinidad and Tobago’s 2012 Olympics champion Keshorn Walcott was second with a first round throw of 86.64m. Peters was third with a best throw of 84.75m, which also came in the opening round.
Neeraj’s second and third attempts were fouls and he did only three throws. That meant Neeraj had single legal throw and he won the competition with it. His throw was not as big as the 89.30m effort while finishing second in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, in a star-studded field but the win will surely boost his confidence ahead of the Stockholm Diamond League on June 30.