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Indian Grand Prix III: Last chance for Indian track and field athletes to qualify for 2024 Paris Olympic Games

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The third Indian Grand Prix track and field event, among the last competitions that will serve as a qualification meet for the 2024 Paris Olympics, will be held at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Wednesday.

There are no eye-popping names in the fray, perhaps because the National inter-state championship is scheduled in close proximity (June 27-30 in Panchkula, Haryana).

But there are a few notable athletes who will either look to breach the direct qualification mark or improve their standings in the world rankings to give themselves a shot at Paris.

The entry lists indicate that the women’s 400m will be interesting, with the likes of Prachi, Vithya Ramraj, Subha Venkatesan, V.K. Vismaya and Poovamma keen to put in good performances. India’s men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams have punched their tickets to Paris but the final squad of quartermilers is yet to be announced.

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Abha Khatua, who created a new National record in women’s shot put at the recently held Federation Cup, Karthik Unnikrishnan in men’s triple jump, and Nayana James in women’s long jump are also set to participate.

Nayana has had a stellar season, winning the Indian Open Jumps title with a new personal best (6.67m), clinching the Federation Cup gold and leaping 6.43m in Taiwan recently, her longest outside India.

But the entry threshold for Paris is 6.86m, three centimetres more than Anju Bobby George’s long-standing National record. Nayana is expected to be challenged by Ancy Sojan, the Asian Games silver medallist with a personal best of 6.63m. The young and upcoming Shaili Singh hasn’t entered the meet.

Men’s javelin is set to feature Kishore Jena and Rohit Yadav. The former, who is already confirmed for Paris, will look to improve massively on his 2024 season best of 76.31m. Rohit will need a new personal best to go past the qualification mark (85.50m).

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