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Time for the Athletics Federation of India to review its rules for majors


Other countries view World Athletics eligibility criteria differently; If Jaswin Aldrin had been an American, he would have joined the world

Other countries view World Athletics eligibility criteria differently; If Jaswin Aldrin had been an American, he would have joined the world

The Athletics Federation of India may have barred automatic qualifier Jeswin Aldrin from going to the World Championships in the USA this week after he failed to repeat his qualifying performance at the Inter-State Nationals in Chennai and subsequent trials. Seen very differently.

Long jumper Aldrin broke the world athletics entry standard (8.22m) at the Federation Cup in April with 8.26m and shocked national record holder M. Sreesankar by winning gold (air-assisted 8.37m) but the AFI wanted him. Close to it at the recent Inter-State Nationals, its main qualifier for Worlds.

On the way home

The 20-year-old, ranked seventh in the world this year, finished sixth in Chennai with 7.71 (qualifying round) and 7.51 (final). He was awarded two trials where he came close at Thiruvananthapuram (7.99m) and Patiala (7.93m), but the AFI did not clear him for the Worlds as he failed to clear the target of 8.10m. A disappointed Aldrin is now on his way to his home in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu.

World Athletics gives athletes a year to achieve its entry standard, while the AFI has a show-before-you-go approach.

“We are not world athletics. We are India and we should do what is good for India,” said AFI President Adil Sumariwala. The Hindu.

“Because you can be in form six months or a year ago but not fit before going. We have many such athletes, that’s why.

Shockingly, the Worlds entry list revealed that more than 20 of Oregon’s 32 long jumpers had fallen well below the Worlds entry standard in their last few meets.

The USA is a dominant force in the long jump, with world record holders such as Jesse Owens, Ralph Boston, Bob Beeman and Mike Powell. But Marquis Dendy, who finished 10th at the recent US Championships at 7.87m, earned a spot on the American long jump team for Worlds.

India will have Sreesankar and Muhammad Anees in Oregon, a third entry that will raise the profile of the sport while giving young Aldrin top-class exposure.

Perhaps, it is time for the AFI to reconsider its rules for the majors.



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