Seema targets 58m to book Birmingham berth

While the Commonwealth Games doors have closed for high jumper Tejaswin Shankar and long jumper Jeswin Aldrin despite having achieved the AFI’s entry standard in recent meets, seasoned discus thrower Seema Punia, who is yet to make the cut, is in the team for the Birmingham event.

But Seema’s target will be 58m, the AFI qualifying standard, if she wants to catch the flight to Birmingham.

The 38-year-old Seema, who has a personal best of 64.84m (2004) and 63.73 last year which helped her to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, has a best of 55.97m this year.

“She is not in the team yet. She has taken special permission to train and compete in USA. Only if she qualifies she will go,” said AFI president Adille Sumariwalla on Friday.

“Don’t forget that every time Seema has participated in Asian or CWG in the last four editions, she has got us a medal.”

Others like Asian shot put record holder Tajinderpal Singh Toor, discus thrower Navjeet Kaur Dhillon and hammer thrower Sarita Singh will have to come up with improved performances over the next few days to go to the Commonwealth Games.

“They will all have to perform in international competition before the CWG or (they are) out,” said Sumariwalla.

Many of the Indian athletes will be competing in meets in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan over the next few days.

But despite some very impressive times from girls like Aishwarya Mishra, Kiran Pahal, Priya Mohan and Rupal (all non-national campers) recently, there will no such hope for the Indian women’s 4x400m relay team, the Asian Games gold medallist and 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games champion.

“No, not possible… there are no qualifying events available. And till we have a relook at the campers’ rule, we cannot include outsiders,” said Sumariwalla. “And we are already over our quota of 36.”

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