Athletics Federation of India Selection Committee today decided, after great consideration, against withdrawing the entries of long jumper M Sreeshankar and 20km race walking athlete KT Irfan and let them proceed to Tokyo for the Olympic Games.
In an emergency meeting, despite the strong opinion that both athletes should be withdrawn after they under-performed in the trials in Bengaluru, the Committee considered that the Federation had called only for trials to assess fitness and not form and arrived at the unanimous decision to not pull the two athletes out of the squad.
AFI President Adille J. Sumariwalla said the selection the committee had recommended that there be a National Championship ahead of all major events and that athletes would need to perform in that selection meet. “The selectors were of the view that athletes, especially those who meet qualification standards early, need to compete in the final selection trial and show their performance,” he said.
Sumariwalla also said the coaches of both athletes had been spoken to about the lacklustre form in the trials. “The coaches have promised that their respective athletes would give their best in Tokyo. Sreeshankar’s father and coach have assured of good performance from his athlete. If athletes do not perform well in the Olympics, we will take action against them,” he said.