Despite breaching the tough qualification standards of the World Championships earlier this year, India’s national record holder in the triple jump — Praveen Chithravel — and in long jump — Jeswin Aldrin — have been informed by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) that they will need to prove their fitness before they will be allowed to compete at the World Championships in Budapest next month.
The decision was made after both athletes skipped the Asian Championships earlier this month owing to injuries.
“They (Chithravel and Aldrin) both gave medical certificates stating they were not able to compete at the Asian Championships. They will have to prove their fitness at any competition approved by the AFI or World Athletics. Selection for the World championships will only be on the basis of proving their performance and fitness, “ AFI chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair told Sportstar.
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Chithravel, 22, had made the best-ever jump by an Indian triple jumper when he cleared a distance of 17.37m at the V Prueba de Confrontación event in Cuba in May this year while Aldrin, 21, had set a new long jump National Record of 8.42m at the Indian Jumps and Throws competition in Bellary in March this year.
In doing so both Chithravel and Aldrin had met the automatic qualification standard set by World Athletics (17.20m in the men’s triple jump and 8.25m in the men’s long jump). Aldrin is also the current world leader in the men’s long jump while just four other athletes have jumped further than Chithravel this season.
While athletes can qualify for the World Championships on the basis of world rankings, automatically qualifying for the tournament by meeting the qualification standards set by the IAAF (World Athletics Federation), only 11 Indian athletes have so far met the standards for the competition that will be held in Budapest next month.
Chithravel picked up an injury to his hamstring while training and competing in Cuba while Aldrin picked up a groin injury at the Inter State Championships in Bhubaneswar last month.
Chithravel had declared himself unavailable for the Asian Championships following his injury. Aldrin suffered his injury following the announcement of the team for the Continental Championships.
Both athletes had taken part in the Interstate Championships, which the Athletics Federation of India declared as a qualification event for the Asian Games. Both athletes had met the qualification standards set by the AFI at that competition.
Chithravel cleared a distance of 17.07m as against the AFI’s qualification standard of 16.60m while Aldrin had jumped a distance of 7.98m as against the AFI’s qualification standard of 7.95m.
Chithravel has recovered from his hamstring injury and competed at the Diamond League in Monaco on Friday night. It is learned that Aldrin has yet to recover completely from his groin injury. This is not the first time that Aldrin has been asked to prove his fitness for the World Championships.
Despite jumping a then-India-best 8.37m at the Federation Cup in April last year and also qualifying automatically for the 2022 World Championships, Aldrin was asked by the AFI to take part in two separate selection trials after his form dipped. He was finally allowed to compete at the World event in Eugene, Oregon.