By Sanu V. George
Thiruvananthapuram, July 8 (IANS) Eight Keralites, including Olympian K.T. Irfan in the 20-kilometre walk, will be donning Indian colours at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Though the 31-year-old Irfan had competed at the Rio Olympics in 2016, he had to pull out due to hamstring injury. Four years before that, he had finished 10th at 2012 London Olympics and recorded his best timing of one hour, 20 minutes and 21 seconds.
He had won a bronze medal at the 2017 Asian race-walking championship.
Seen in the Olympic swimming pool would be 27-year-old Sajan Prakash in the 200m butterfly race. Prakash had qualified after clocking 1:56.38 minutes in a qualification event in Italy recently.
This will be the swimmer’s second outing for the country. He had finished 28th at Rio in 2016.
The 26-year-old Alex Antony will take part in the mixed 4x400m relay after he clocked 47.83 seconds in the national trials conducted by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).
Former India hockey captain P.R. Sreejesh will man the goalpost for the Indian hockey team.
This would be the 33-year-old’s third Olympics after the 2012 and 2016 games.
N.N. Tom, 26, with a personal best 45.75 seconds in 400 metres will be representing the country in mixed 4x400m relay.
The 26-year-old M.A. Yahiya will be representing India in the mixed 4x400m relay at Tokyo Olympics.
He holds the national record of 45.21 seconds in 400m and had competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics in both 400m and 4×400 men’s relay races.
The 22-year-old Murali Sreeshankar will be representing India in long jump.
He qualified with a jump of 8.26m at the Federation Cup in Patiala and it was this jump which fetched him a
ticket to Tokyo Olympics and also the national record, which is the 11th best jump in the world this season.
The 24-year-old J. M. Pillyalil will be representing India in men’s 400m hurdles.
Though he failed to breach the 48.90 qualifying mark but still managed to qualify for Tokyo Olympics through world ranking quota which had 14 spots available.