New Delhi: Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was on Wednesday named to lead a 39-member Indian athletics team for next month’s Asian Championships in Doha, with sprint sensation Hima Das also making the cut in 400m despite her recent below-par show.
National record holders, Mohd Anas (400m), Jinson Johnson (800m and 1500m), Dharun Ayyasamy (400m hurdles), Avinash Sable (3000m steeplechase), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (shot put) and Annu Rani (javelin throw) as well as Dutte Chand (200m) were also among those named in the team.
Tejaswin Shankar (high jump) and M. Shreeshankar (long jump) — both national record holders — were left out of the team for different reasons while seasoned campaigners Seema Antil (discus throw) and Arpinder Singh (triple jump) opted out of the continental showpiece to focus on the World Championships later this year.
The 21-year-old Neeraj, who won gold in 2017 edition, was given exemption by the Athletics Federation of India from taking part in the Federation Cup. He is currently training in South Africa.
Hima, on the other hand, took a break of one month from training at the national camp to appear for her 12th class examinations in Assam and that showed in her performance which dipped at the Indian Grand Prix and the Federation Cup.