Sports Ministry clears foreign training stints of athletes
Poonia, who is going to defend her discus throw title in the July 23-August 3 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, had trained under Wilkins, who won discus gold in 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.
Top Indian track and field athletes, including medal prospects Vikas Gowda and Krishna Poonia, have been cleared by the Sports Ministry for foreign training stints as part of the preparation for the Commonwealth and Asian Games later this year.
Poonia, along with his husband and coach Virender, has been cleared for training at Mac Wilkins Training Centre, Chula Vista in California (USA) from May 1 to July 21.
Poonia, who is going to defend her discus throw title in the July 23-August 3 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, had trained under Wilkins, who won discus gold in 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, before the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.
Her team-mate Seema Punia has also been cleared to train at the Throwing Academy at New Port Beach, California (USA), from May 1 to July 21.
United States-based Gowda, the reigning Asian discus throw champion, will be at the John Godina Throwing Centre at Phoenix (USA) from April 1 till the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea (September 19-October 4).
The foreign training stints of the athletes were cleared by the Sports Ministry in a recent meeting with the Athletics Federation of India officials as the country gears up for the two big multi-sporting events.
A top source in the AFI told PTI that the Sports Ministry has been very forthcoming when approached with the proposals for the foreign training of the athletes: "We are more than happy. The Ministry has been forthcoming when we presented the proposal of foreign training of the athletes in view of the Commonwealth and Asian Games. We are more than happy," he said.
Shot putter Om Prakash Karhana, who won a gold in the recent Asian Indoor Championships, will have a training-cum-competition stint, alongwith his coach, at Warsaw, Poland under Henryk Olshewski from April 1 till the Asian Games.
Delhi-based discus thrower Arjun will also have a training-cum-competition stint at the same Warsaw centre till the Asian Games.
Legendary P T Usha's protege Tintu Luka (800m) has also been given go-ahead to take part in the Diamond League Series events in Doha (May 9) and Shanghai (May 17) provided she gets invitation from the organisers. She will also take part in some Grand Prix events in Europe.
A group of 14 middle and long distance runners like Sudha Singh, Kavita Raut and Preeja Shreedharan, would train under Belarussian coach Nikolai Snesarev at Font Romeo, France for 21 days from June 16 to July 8 as they require high altitude training.
Long jumper Mayookha Jonny may also train in Germany for three months.
However, AFI's request to increase the number of campers from 120 to 180 for the Asian Games was yet to get clearance: "AFI's request is still pending with SAI," the source said.
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