New Delhi, August 25: Athletics Federation of India today felicitated the medal winners in the recently concluded World Athletics U20 Championships at a warm and cordial function at the Leela Palace here.
Women’s Long Jump Silver Medallist Shaili Singh (6.59m) and 10000m Race Walker Amit Khatri (42:17.94) won silver after being in the running for the respective gold medals while the Mixed Team 4x400m Relay squad (3:20.60) of Barath Sridhar, Summy Kaliravan, Priya H Mohan and Kapil as well as Abdul Razzak and Triple Jumper M Donald were honoured.
AFI Planning Committee Chairman Dr. Lalit K. Bhanot said the performances of the athletes in the World U20 Championships was the result of a series of competitions organised for the junior athletes despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. “AFI and its affiliates are the only ones who have conducted as many as 14 National-level and Zonal meets in 2021,” he said.
“I remember Anju Bobby George asking us if there would be any competitions provided for the junior athletes, especially Shaili Singh. I am glad that AFI has conducted three National-level competitions as well as three zonal level meets for the juniors in addition to the eight National-level meets for the seniors in these difficult times,” he said.
AFI Senior Vice President Anju Bobby George said it was momentous year for Indian athletics. “Neeraj Chopra won India’s first athletics medal, a gold, in the Olympic Games in Tokyo and now the juniors have returned with three medals from the World Championships in Nairobi. It in an indication of the meticulous planning by the Federation,” she said.
Shaili Singh’s coach Robert Bobby George, who had spotted her at a National Junior Championship and in the National Inter-District Junior Athletics Meet in November 2017, said he was happy with his ward’s effort in Nairobi. “Despite it being her first international competition, she did all that I asked of her,” he said.