Star-studded affair likely at Railway Sports meet

The 79th Railways Athletics Championship, to be held from August 5-7 at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium here, will be a star-studded affair as far as Indian athletics is concerned.

Boasting of a bulk of national champions across events, the three-day competition will also be the last competition for athletes like triple-jumper Renjith Maheshwary and Sudha Singh (3000m steeplechase) before they leave for the World Championships in Moscow.

“At the moment, we have received their confirmations for participation. We have also scheduled their events to ensure they can leave early for the Worlds,” said Railways Sports Promotion Board secretary Jhanjha Tripathy.

However, the final start list will only be confirmed after the team managers’ meeting. But even in the possible absence of these two names, the field will have enough stalwarts to keep the interest.

Renewing rivalry

While Asiad champion Joseph Abraham and Satender Singh Bajwa will renew their rivalry in to 400m, the likes of Preeja Sreedharan and O.P. Jaisha will hope to continue their domination over longer distances. Besides these, there will be other medallists from the handful that India managed at the recent Asian Athletics Championships in Pune — Ratiram Saini, who got bronze in the 10,000m and youngster Asha Roy, who finished second in the 200m.

“Discus thrower Olympian Krishna Poonia, who had earlier been doubtful for the meet because of injury, has confirmed her participation.”