Several top athletes, including silver medalist Eldhose Paul Avinash marten (300m steeplechase) and Murali Sreeshankar (long jump) will not feature in the four-day competition.
A hamstring injury suffered last month also forced the star sprinter Hima Das outside the championships, which will see more than 5,000 athletes compete for honors at the Birsa Munda stadium.
The first major national athletics event of the season will serve as the qualifying event for the Asian Athletics Championships from July 12-16 to be held in Bangkok.
It will also be a good platform for budding athletes aiming to achieve qualification standards for the World Championships in Athletics in Budapest from August 19-27 and the Asian Games in Hangzhou to be held in September-October.
Other top athletes absent include men’s national long jump record holder Jeswin Aldrin, national long jumper record holder, talented long jumper Shaili Singh and triple jumper Praveen Chithravel, who recently improved the national record, among others.
Most of them train or compete overseas in preparation for the Asian Games and World Championships.
Annu, 30, also a national record holder, has been training in Offenburg, Germany since February and will kick off her 2023 season.
Injury forces Hima Das to skip Federation Cup
Star sprinter Hima Das will also miss the Federation Cup as she is nursing a hamstring injury she suffered just before the IV Indian Grand Prix in Bangalore on April 15.
“It’s (Hima’s injury) not the old back problem but a hamstring injury. She got injured just a day before IGP IV in Bangalore,” a source told Premier. plan to PTI on condition of anonymity.
“She is in rehabilitation and we hope she will be back at the National Interstate Championships in Bhubaneswar (June 15-19).”
The National Interstate Championships will be the qualifying event for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September-October.
Hima had won gold in the IGP III in Bangalore on April 10 with a time of 23.77 seconds. He entered his name for IGP IV on April 15 but did not start due to the injury.
Hima had won an individual silver medal in the 400m at the 2018 Asian Games as well as gold and silver in the women’s 4x400m relay and the mixed 4x400m relays.
Opening Day Action
On the opening day, competitors will battle for medals in five events, including the grueling 10,000m track races in the men’s and women’s categories scheduled for the morning session.
The men’s 25-lap race attracted up to 49 entries, while seven athletes confirmed their entries for the corresponding women’s race.
The evening session will see finals in the women’s hammer throw and the men’s and women’s 3000m steeplechase.
The opening day will also determine the finalists for the men’s 100m and 400m.
Amiya Kumar Mallick of Odisha, who holds the national record of 10.26 seconds recorded in 2016, will be seen in action in the 100m.
The men’s 400m heats scheduled for the morning will see some of the country’s best quarter-milers, including Amoj Jacob and Muhammed Anas, battle it out for a place in the final. There are 48 entries in the men’s 400m.
In the women’s 400m, Aishwarya Mishra from Maharashtra, Jisna Mathew from Kerala and Kiran Pahal from Haryana will be the main attraction.