Aldrin, Ankita make Olympics cut, Indian athletics team strength to rise to 30

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New Delhi, Jul 7 (PTI) Long jumper Jeswin Aldrin and 5000m runner Ankita Dhyani on Sunday qualified for Paris Olympics through world ranking quota and are set to be included in the Indian athletics team which will now have 30 members.

Long jump national record holder Aldrin and Ankita's name figured in the latest list published by World Athletics (WA) after the national federations notified the international body about their athletes who will not compete in Paris due to various reasons despite making the cut.

One such example was top Indian long jumper M Sreeshankar who had to pull out of the Games due to an injury despite making a direct entry by breaching the qualification standard of 8.27m.

Aldrin figured in the 31st place in the list while 32 will compete in the men's log jump event in Olympics. Ankita was placed 42nd, the last ranking spot. Both were outside the qualification bracket when WA published the list on July 2. A top official in the Athletics Federation of India told PTI that the duo will be included in the Indian team.

"Yes, they have made it to the list through world ranking and they will be included in the Indian team for the Olympics," he said.

Indian athletics chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair had said after the announcement of a 28-member team on July 4 that the selection committee of the national federation has decided that whoever qualifies later for the Paris Games will be included in the team.

The 22-year-old Ankita, who won a bronze medal in the 2023 Asian Championships, has a 5000m personal best of 15 minute 28.08 second which she had clocked at the Track Fest in Los Angeles in May.

She had won gold in the National Inter-State Championships (June 27-30) with a time of 16:10.31.

National record holder Parul Chaudhary has already qualified in 5000m and with Ankita also joining her, India will have two athletes competing in the event in Paris.

Aldrin, also 22, has not been able to touch 8m this year, though he has a personal best of 8.42m. He won a silver at the National Inter-State Championships with a jump of 7.75m. On July 4, India had named a 28-member athletics team for the Games, headlined by reigning Olympic and world champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra.

The first batch (eight members) of the Olympics-bound Indian athletics team will leave for Spala in Poland on Monday for a training stint before the Olympics while the rest will join after a few days.

Track and field competitions of the Paris Olympics will begin on August 1. PTI PDS PDS AT AT