Poonia, Gowda, Prajusha in Asian Games athletics squad

New Delhi: All the Commonwealth Games
medallists, except for woman discus thrower Seema Antil, were
on Tuesday named in India`s 69-strong athletics squad for the Asian
Games starting in Guangzhou, China from November 12.

The Athletics Federation of India decided to send a big
squad, the largest among 36 disciplines India will take part
in the Asian Games, following the unprecedented success in the
Commonwealth Games here last month.

India had won 12 medals (two gold, three silver and seven
bronze) in the Commonwealth Games, the best ever performance
by the country in the history of CWG.

The squad also has shot putter Saurabh Vij who had tested
positive for banned stimulant methylhexaneamine and whose case
is pending before a National Anti-Doping panel.

National record holder Antil, who had won a bronze in the
CWG, missed out on the Asian Games bus as a country can name
only two athletes in an event.

Krishna Poonia and Harwant Kaur, who had won gold and
silver respectively in a clean sweep in the women`s discus
throw event in the CWG, were in the China-bound squad.

"In the CWG, we were allowed to field three athletes in
an event but in the Asian Games there is a restriction of two
athletes in an event. So, Antil missed out," AFI secretary
Ravinder Chaudhry told reporters.

"Indian athletics team is ready to continue the CWG good
show in the Asian Games. We are sending our best 69 athletes
including all the medal winners of Commonwealth Games. We had
a good season at the national athletics front this year and
now the focus has turned towards the Asian Games," he said.

All the 69 athletes named for the Asian Games were in
the CWG squad.

Besides Poonia, the only Indian woman athlete to win an
individual gold in the Commonwealth Games, and Kaur, the
women`s 4X400m quartet of Sini Jose, AC Ashwini, Manjeet Kaur
and Mandeep Kaur, who won gold in the CWG, are also in the
Asian Games squad.

The China-bound squad has the CWG-bronze winning women`s
4x100m relay team of Geetha Satti, Srabani Nanda, P K Priya
and H M Jyothi. It also has CWG bronze-winning men`s 4X100m
relay quartet of Rahamatulla Molla, Krishnakumar Rane, Shammer
Mon and Mohd Abdul Qureshi.

Other CWG medal winners in the Asian Games squad are
Kavita Raut (womens` 10,000m race), Harminder Singh (men`s
20km race walk), Renjith Maheswary (men`s triple jump), MA
Prajusha (women`s long jump), Kashinath Naik (men`s javelin
throw), Vikas Gowda (men`s discus throw).

Asian leader in women`s 800m race Tintu Luka is also in
the squad.



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