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    Paris 2024: AFI to field 28-member athletics squad for Olympics; Kiran Pahal left out of relay team

    Paris 2024: AFI to field 28-member athletics squad for Olympics; Kiran Pahal left out of relay team

    Despite a last-minute rush and a sensational time which made her the second-fastest Asian quarter-miler this season, Kiran Pahal did not find a place in the Indian women’s 4x400m relay team for this month’s Paris Olympics.

    However, Kiran, also the No. 2 in the all-time Indian 400m list with her 50.92s at the recent Inter-State Nationals where she walked away with the best athlete award, will run in the individual 400m in the Olympics after achieving the qualification standard in Panchkula.

    The Athletics Federation of India, which announced its squad for the Olympics on Thursday, has decided to stick to its policy of including national campers for the relay team and that is why Kiran and Deepanshi, who finished second in the Inter-State meet, have been left out. Surprisingly, Kiran was fielded in the Indian 4x400m mixed relay team at the Inter-State Nationals in a last-minute desperate attempt to qualify for Paris.

    Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, the country’s first-ever Olympic champion in athletics, is the biggest name in the 28-member team which also includes Asian Games champions Tajinderpal Singh Toor, Avinash Sable, Parul Chaudhary and Annu Rani. Parul will be competing in two individual events, the women’s 3000m steeple chase and the 5000m in Paris.

    Rajesh Ramesh, who did not run an individual 400m this year and whose injury brought a DNF (did not finish) for India at the World Relays in the Bahamas in May, figures in the men’s 4x400m relay.

    “He is our No. 1 runner and he is fit now,” AFI president Adille Sumariwalla told Sportstar on Thursday evening.

    Despite qualifying through world rankings, javelin thrower D.P. Manu did not make the cut after being provisionally suspended for doping.

    The athletics competition will be held from August 1 to 11 and Indians will also feature in the marathon race-walk mixed relay which will make its Olympic debut in Paris.

    Team:
    Men:

    Men: Avinash Sable (3,000m steeplechase), Neeraj Chopra, Kishore Kumar Jena (javelin throw), Tajinderpal Singh Toor (shot put), Praveen Chithravel, Abdulla Aboobacker (triple jump), Sarvesh Kushare (high jump), Akshdeep Singh, Vikash Singh, Paramjeet Singh Bisht (20km race walk), Muhammed Anas, Muhammed Ajmal, Amoj Jacob, Santhosh Tamilarasan, Rajesh Ramesh, Mijo Chacko Kurian (4x400m relay), Suraj Panwar (race walk mixed marathon)

    Women:

    Kiran Pahal (400m), Parul Chaudhary (3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m), Jyothi Yarraji (100m hurdles), Annu Rani (javelin throw), Abha Khatua (shot put), Jyothika Sri Dandi, Subha Venkatesan, Vithya Ramraj, Poovamma MR, Prachi (4x400m relay), Priyanka Goswami (20km race walk/ race walk mixed marathon).

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