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Saraswati to focus only on 400m

Jamshedpur, Sept. 6 (PTI): The Amateur Athletic Federation of India (AAFI) has decided to lay emphasis on 11 select events where India have the potential to perform well in world meets by arranging for regular foreign exposure trips and top class training under renowned coaches for the chosen athletes.

In view of this, Busan Asian Games 200 m gold medallist Saraswati Saha of Bengal has been asked to concentrate only on the 400m. The events were chosen keeping in view the potential of the particular athletes participating in them, AAFI secretary Lalit Bhanot said here Saturday.

The events for the programme slated to begin from next year include 4x400m relay (both men and women), 800m (men and women), 1,500 m (women), discus (men and women), long jump (women), heptathlon, high jump (women) and shot put (men).

“We’ll not only arrange for more exposure for them at the national level but also send them to Europe for training under world class foreign coaches,”he said. “So far, we were laying emphasis on overall development of the country’s athletics standard. Now, we’ll shift focus from the Asian to the world stage.”

Bhanot said the squad for the Asian Track and Field meet to be held in Manila from September 20 to 23 will comprise 40 athletes.

Meanwhile, Bhanot said, the AAFI’s ambitious project of the national inter-district meet will now be held in Allahabad, In November, instead of Patna. Originally the meet was supposed to be held in September, but now it has been pushed back to November.

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