The 2022 season is set to be a big year for athletes as both the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games are scheduled in addition to the world championships.
Athletics in India has grabbed the spotlight after Neeraj Chopra’s epoch-making javelin throw gold medal at Tokyo 2020 - the first time that the country has won an Olympic medal in track and field.
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has also come up with the qualifying standards for the Commonwealth Games 2022 (CWG 2022) to be held in Birmingham, UK, in July-August.
Selection process for the Commonwealth Games
Unlike the Olympics where qualifying marks for every nation is the same, qualifying standards for the Commonwealth Games can vary from nation to nation. The respective federations set their own marks which athletes need to beat within a set qualifying window to be eligible for selection in the final team.
The Commonwealth Games federation allocates a fixed number of quota places to each federation based on past performances and other factors. Respective federations can select their final team to fill up the maximum quota allocated to them.
In the men’s 100m and 200m, Indian athletes will be required to set new national records if they are to be eligible for selection for CWG 2022.
The men’s 100m qualifying standard is set at 10.24 seconds while the existing national record is 10.26 seconds, by Amiya Mallick.
In the men’s 200m, the qualifying standard is 20.50 seconds. The national record of 20.63 seconds is held by Muhammad Anas Yahiya.
India did not have any sprinter in the men’s 100m or 200m in either of the last two editions of the CWG - in 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast.
The prodigious Hima Das, a 400m Under-20 junior champion, though, will have to step up to compete at the CWG 2022.
Hima Das has shifted focus to the shorter sprints - 100m and 200m - in the past two years. A hamstring injury prevented her from qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The women’s 100m and 200m qualification criteria is set at 11.2 seconds and 23.00 seconds, respectively. Hima Das’ best efforts in 2021 were 11.63 seconds in the 100m and 23.21 seconds in the 200m and so, the 21-year-old will have to make significant progress.
Olympic gold-medallist Neeraj Chopra will defend his men’s javelin throw title at CWG 2022.
Neeraj Chopra, Seema Antil and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon were the only athletics medallists for India at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.