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AFI Unveils 35-Member Contingent for Paris Olympic Games

Bhubaneswar: The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) announced on Tuesday that it will field a formidable 35-member contingent, including star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, to compete at the upcoming Paris Olympic Games scheduled to commence on July 26 in France. Adille Sumariwalla, President of AFI, made this significant revelation during a press conference held in Bhubaneswar.

“Twenty athletes have successfully met the automatic qualification criteria established by World Athletics, while an additional 11 athletes will secure their berths through the world ranking system,” stated Sumariwalla. He further added, “We anticipate five more athletes to secure their spots for the Olympic Games before the June 30 deadline.”

Comparing the current preparations to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games held in 2021, where AFI fielded fewer than 30 athletes, Sumariwalla expressed confidence in India’s potential to shine at the global stage. He highlighted Neeraj Chopra’s historic gold medal win in Tokyo, a momentous achievement that marked a significant milestone in Indian athletics.

In an effort to ensure optimal performance and readiness, AFI has mandated all Paris Olympic Games aspirants to participate in the domestic competition commencing on June 27 in Panchkula. “Every athlete must compete at the National Inter-State Athletics meet in Haryana to demonstrate their fitness ahead of the qualification deadline,” emphasized Sumariwalla.

Anticipating multiple medal prospects for India at the 2024 Olympic Games, Sumariwalla highlighted the potential of athletes in events such as javelin, 4x400m relay, and long jump. He underscored the recent qualification successes of the Indian men and women’s 4x400m relay teams at the World Athletics World Relays in Bahamas as indicators of India’s medal-winning potential.

Reflecting on the gradual progression of Indian track and field, Sumariwalla pointed out the nation’s commendable performance at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. He lauded the achievement of three Indian javelin throwers making it to the medal round, with Neeraj Chopra clinching the gold medal.

Meanwhile, in the 27th National Federation Senior Athletics Competition held alongside the press conference, Asian Games champion Tajinderpal Singh Toor secured the gold medal in the men’s shot put event, while Jeswin Aldrin dominated the men’s long jump event.

The event witnessed stellar performances across various disciplines, showcasing the depth of talent within the Indian athletics contingent.



3000m Steeplechase: Sumit Kumar (Madhya Pradesh) – 8:39.67 seconds
Shot Put: Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Punjab) – 20.38m
Hammer Throw: Damneet Singh (Punjab) – 66.28m
Long Jump: Jeswin Aldrin (Tamil Nadu) – 7.99m

3000m Steeplechase: Chhavi Yadav (Madhya Pradesh) – 10:07.57 seconds
Discus Throw: Nidhi Rani (Haryana) – 52.55m
Pole Vault: Rosy Meena Paulraj (Tamil Nadu) – 4.05m
The performances exhibited at the competition further bolstered the optimism surrounding Indian athletics as the country gears up for the Paris Olympic Games.

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