New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Elite Indian athletes, including the national women’s 4×100 metres relay team, aiming to make the cut for the upcoming Olympics Games are looking ahead to compete in next month’s Qosanov Memorial meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The two-day competition, an Olympic qualifying event, is scheduled to be held on June 19 and 20 and is part of the World Athletics continental tour series.
“It would be a good opportunity for the top Indian athletes if they get a chance to compete in Kazakhstan. We have a good chance to qualify for the Olympics in the women’s 4x100m relay,” a national team coach told IANS.
While the coaches and athletes are hopeful of competing in the Asian circuit, escalating coronavirus cases in India prevented the core group of athletes to compete on the European circuit this month.
“The situation is changing so rapidly due to the pandemic in India that we cannot guarantee competing at the international level. The national men’s 4x400m and women’s 4×100 relay squads couldn’t compete in the World Relays on May 1 and 2 in Chorzow, Poland, due to travel restrictions by the Netherlands government,” said the coach.
Last month, javelin throwers, including Neeraj Chopra, couldn’t travel to Europe for a training-cum-competition programme.
The Athletics Federation of India had shortlisted six top women’s sprinters, including national champion S Dhanalakshmi and Dutee Chand, for the relay team.
“Since the top two runners in the team have sub-11.50 seconds time for 100m we stand a good chance to qualify for the Olympics,” AFI president Adille Sumariwalla had said.
Archana Suseendran, Hima Das, T Daneshwari and Himashree Roy are the other sprinters in the 4x100m squad.