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CWG 2014: India's athletics squad pruned down; TT hopes rest on Sharath

Last updated on: July 15, 2014 21:10 IST

CWG 2014: India's athletics squad pruned down; TT hopes rest on Sharath



The Athletics Federation of India on Tuesday pruned down the number of track and field participants for the upcoming 2014 Commonwealth Games from the original 41 to 32, leaving out young sprinter Dutee Chand, who has reportedly undergone a gender test, at the last minute.

Controversial triple jumper Renjith Maheswary and the six-member men's 4x100m relay team also got the axe on the ground of unsatisfactory performance.

18-year-old Chand has reportedly been under the scanner with the Sports Authority of India having ordered a gender test on her.

SAI director General Jiji Thomson confirmed that a woman athlete underwent a gender test in Bangalore but refused to name her.

"A gender test was conducted on a woman athlete in Bangalore. If she is there in the list of CWG participants, her name will have to be deleted from the list," Thomson said.

Chand was dropped at the last minute as her name was there in the list of CWG participants given earlier to some top AFI officials, including Secretary C K Valson.

Valson confirmed that Dutee Chand was in the list of participants, but within hours AFI released a list of 32 athletes leaving her out.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had already released the names of 224 Indian athletes to take part in the July 23-August 3 Glasgow Games, but with the reduction of members in the athletics team, the total number of participants will now be 215.

18 out of these 33 athletes left for Glasgow on Monday.

The 33-member athletics team for 2014 Glasgow CWG:


4x400m Relay: Rajiv Arokia, Kunhu Mohammed, Sachin Roby, Lalit Mathur, Jithu Baby, Jibin Sebastian.

110m Hurdle: Siddhanth Thingalaya

Triple Jump: Arpinder Singh

Shot Put: Om Prakash Karhana

Discus Throw: Vikas Gowda
Javelin Throw: Ravinder Singh Khaira, Devinder Singh, Vipin Kasana.

Hammer Throw: Kamalpreet Singh, Chandrodaya Narayan Singh

4x100m Relay: Saradha Narayan, H M Jyothi, Sarbani Nanda, Asha Roy, Santhini Vallikkad, Merlin K Joseph, Dutee Chand.

4x400m Relay: M R Poovamma, Tintu Luka, Debashree Majumdar, Ratandeep Kaur, Anilda Thomas, Ashwini Akkunji.

High Jump: Sahana Kumari
Long Jump: Mayookha Johny

Discus Throw: Seema Punia, Krishna Poonia

Javelin Throw: Annu Rani.

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Image: Renjith Maheswary of India
Photographs: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images


CWG 2014: India's athletics squad pruned down; TT hopes rest on Sharath

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India's foreign table tennis coach Peter Engel says he expects three medals from his wards at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, two less than their record tally of five achieved at the Delhi Games four years ago.

Engel, who took charge last October, said his assessment is based on current form and the fact that India will not enjoy home support like last time.

"I am very happy with way the boys are shaping up. The women's players, as I have said in the past, need more foreign exposure to improve their game," Engel said ahead of the 10-member squad's departure for Glasgow on Wednesday.

The quadrennial Games remain India's favourite medal hunting ground as it continues to toil at the world and Asian level without much success.

India produced their best ever Commonwealth Games tally in 2010 winning a men's doubles gold by the pairing of Sharath Kamal and Subhajit Saha, surprise women's team silver and three bronze.

Engel is dwelling on the importance of home advantage but India also won two gold medals at Melbourne 2006 when Sharath won the singles title and played a pivotal role in the team's victorious campaign.

"I am not putting any pressure on the team by talking about the number of medals. I would be satisfied if they perform to their potential. I know last time India won five medals but you have to take into account that the players were backed by the home crowd, which they will miss in Glasgow," said the German coach.

Asked about the number of gold medals India can aim for, Engel said: "The colour doesn't matter to me. All I can say is that I am expecting at least three medals."

The squad had a fruitful two weeks in Patiala, where it trained in the company of Sharath, who Engel says is still India's best player by a distance despite not winning the national title for the last three years.

"I have high expectations from Sharath. It was great to have him in the camp. Everyone looks upto him and and if he does well in Glasgow, it should inspire others to give that little extra needed for a special result," said Engel of the World No.44 who usually trains with his club team mates at Borussia Dusseldorf in Germany.

The Indian men's team flattered to deceive in the last edition, managing a bronze with main rivals Singapore and England winning the gold and silver respectively.

Engel said the men have it in them to do better this time in both team and singles event. Four out of the five are ranked in the top-200.

Engel hinted that Sharath, Desai and Soumyajit Ghosh will play bulk of the matches in the team competition, which will see the introduction of doubles in the best of five tie. The first two singles will be followed by a doubles rubber where either of the singles player team up with the third player.

"The new format will make things exciting. It doesn't allow you to have one dedicated doubles pairing. We will pick the combination for the third rubber depending on the opponents," said Engel.

Engel concluded by saying that the team would have been better off with a dedicated physio. While disciplines like hockey and badminton have dedicated physios, the paddlers will have to rely on common physios travelling with the Indian contingent.

"What if my players will have to wait for a long time for physio's help. I will be worried if that happens," Engel added.

Image: Sharath Kamal of India
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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