Chennai: For the third time, in three straight days, top athletes from around the country blamed the “poor” playing field in the ‘B venue’ of the Nehru Stadium for their ordinary show in the ongoing open nationals.
With the Indian Super League just months away, the field in the main stadium has been reserved for the ISL matches. Hence, the TNCA authorities had ben forced to shift the outdoor-field events such as Javelin throw, hammer throw, shot put and discus throw to the B venue.
Earlier, On day one, shot put gold medallist Tejinder Pal Toor said that the throwing circle “wasn’t up to the mark.” “It was actually not helping. I guess the finishing of the circle isn’t proper and it was a bit too slow,” Tejinder said.
Sarita P Singh who holds a national record of 65.25m of the hammer throw event, stressed on the same after she came up with a below par throw of 60.54m soon.
Javling throwers especially suffered because of the field as most of them registered some extremely low numbers in the previous two days of the event.
If one takes a look at national record holder in Javling Annu Rani (61.86m), she only managed to hurl a distance of 57.90m. It was her first attempt and the next three efforts were 56.93m, 56.89m and 56.66m. such bad was the condition of the field.
Annu mentioned that since the it was an open ground, the wind pattern was affecting her throw. “I knew about the venue change only after coming here. Things would have been different had I thrown in the proper stadium. With the open ground, the wind has its effect. I was throwing against the wind. The range wasn’t proper with the swirling wind. I’m upset with my show but I’m sure I would have done better had the competition been held in the main stadium,” she said.
“Prior to the meet, a few AFI officials did visit the B venue and they looked fine with it. They didn’t say anything to us about altering anything. Thus I think, they were okay with what is here,” an official told The Times of India.
Incidentally, members of the Athletics Federation of India had inspected the ground and cleared it before the Nationals. However, the reactions and observations of the athletes differed in huge contrast and it remains to be seen if such an action by the AFI oficials is punished.