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Asian Games 1,500m champion doubtful for inter-state meet

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By Navneet Singh

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Jinson Johnson, the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games 1,500m champion, looks doubtful for next month’s National Inter-State Athletics Championship, which is the last domestic qualification competition for Olympics.

“It has been just three weeks since I recovered from a bout of Covid-19. I’ve started training but the intensity is low to moderate. My average weekly mileage is 60km. Since I’ve shifted to Coonoor in Tamil Nadu from Bengaluru, doctor has advised not to push hard as body would take time to adapt to high altitude,” he told IANS.

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The Army runner would take a final call close to the competition scheduled to be held either in Bengaluru or Patiala from June 25.

“I’ve got four weeks to improve my fitness. I’m training at an elevation of 1800m near Ooty in Tamil Nadu. If I feel good, I would compete, otherwise I won’t,” he said of his future plans.

The Asian Games champion has skipped the Federation Cup Athletics Championship in March as he wasn’t fit. “But in April, I was unwell due to Covid-19. I was in quarantine for 15 days and became unfit,” he said.

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Johnson’s personal best for 1,500m is 3 minutes 35.24 seconds which he clocked in 2019, while the Tokyo Olympic qualification standard is 3 minutes 35 seconds.

“Achieving that kind of fitness would take time. Back then, my weekly mileage was close to 120km. Some of the workout was done at high intensity,” he added.

–IANS

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