Asian athletics meet top draw event in AFI calendar

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) The 22nd Asian Athletics Championships, to be held in Ranchi in July, will be the highlight event in an otherwise packed calendar for the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) which was announced here on Thursday.

“We have a busy season this year with as many as 16 national-level championships. The highlight of our activities this year is the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships which will be held in Ranchi from July 1-4,” AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said in a statement.

“It will be an honour for us to host athletes from 45 Asian countries and put Ranchi on the map of Asian Athletics Circuit. The preparations for the event are already on track,” he added.

The Indian athletics team will also participate in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships to be held at the Olympic Stadium in London from August 4 to 13.

The Indian team for the World Championships will be selected from national inter-state senior athletics championship to be held at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh from July 12 to 15. The track there has been newly laid.

The AFI technical committee also marked various national championships included in the calendar as qualifying competitions for international events.

The ensuing season will begin with the national race walking championships on February 11 and 12 in Kolkata.

The Kolkata event will also serve as selection trials for the Asian race walking championship to be held at Nomi Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan on March 19.

The Indian athletics team for Asian Championship will be selected on the basis of the athletes’ performances in the Federation Cup national senior championships to be held here from May 11 to 14.

The Indian men and women 4×400 relay teams will participate in the IAAF World relays to be held in Nassau, Bahamas from April 22.

For Indian youth (U-18) athletics team, the IAAF World U-18 Championships in Nairobi from July 12 will give the young guns an opportunity to shine on the big stage.

The team for the Youth worlds will be selected from National youth athletics championships to be organised in Hyderabad from April 21.