Fri, 22 Sep 2023

New Delhi [India], June 7 (ANI): India's ace athlete Neeraj Chopra and steeplechase runner Avinash Sable will not compete at the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships 2023 scheduled to be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Odisha's Bhubaneswar from June 15 to June 19.

The 62nd edition of the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships will serve as the selection trials for the upcoming Asian Games, which will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) have granted Neeraj Chopra and Avinash Sable exemptions based on their recent successes in blockbuster events.

Except for the two athletes, all remaining Indian athletes are looking to make their place in the squad for the Asian Games. They will have to compete at the inter-state meet, as per the AFI.

As of now, Neeraj Chopra is training in Turkey, on the other hand, Avinash Sable is preparing for his season in Colorado Springs, USA. The two have already made the cut for the world athletics championships, which will be held next month in Budapest, Hungary.

Other Indian athletes who are training and competing abroad are Murali Sreeshankar, Annu Rani and Jyothi Yarraji among others, who have not been exempted from the inter-state meet.

Neeraj will be back in action at the Asian Games as a defending champion, having won the gold at the 2018 edition in Jakarta.

Avinash won a historic 3000m steeplechase silver at the Commonwealth Games 2022 and will be making his Asian Games debut.

Neeraj, a Tokyo 2020 Olympic javelin throw champion, started his 2023 season by winning the Doha Diamond League with a remarkable effort of 88.67m.

The national javelin record holder was set to compete in the FBK Games in the Netherlands on June 4 but later he pulled out of the competition due to a muscle strain. The 25-year-old athlete is scheduled to participate in the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland on June 13. (ANI)

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