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Athletics Federation of India announces six-member contingent for World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade

Published at :March 24, 2024 at 6:57 AM
Modified at :April 24, 2024 at 8:17 PM
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(Courtesy : Rediff)

Ajay Gandhar

Championship to start on 30th march.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has assembled a strong six-person team for the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on March 30th. The squad is a mix of experienced athletes and national champions. For the men, Kartik Kumar, 24, will lead the contingent. He was brilliant in his first senior-level international competition and won a silver medal in 10000m in the Asian Games last year, Kartik won silver with a timing of 28:15.38s.

Bronze medalist Gulveer Singh and national champion Hemraj Gujjar will join him. Singh recently broke a 16-year-old national record in the men’s 10,000m, running 27:41.81s to beat the previous mark of 28:02.89s set by Surendra Singh in 2008.

Despite a valiant attempt, he fell short of meeting the Olympic standard, as his time exceeded the qualifying mark of 27:00.00 for the Paris Games by more than 41 seconds.

The women’s team includes national champion Ankita, along with Seema and Anjali Kumari, who are all set to compete with equal determination and skill.

Belgrade, Serbia has won the bid to host the 2024 World Athletics Cross Country Championships on March 30. The city will host this major sporting event two years after successfully hosting the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships. The 2024 championships will take place in the Park of Friendship, located next to the Danube River in downtown Belgrade.

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The World Cross Country Championships are renowned for their exceptional difficulty, considered even more challenging than the Olympics. Unlike the Olympics, where elite distance runners compete in separate events, the championships feature all competitors in one race.

This format amplifies the rivalry, as runners from all distances compete head-to-head. The championships have been a platform for numerous athletes, such as marathon legend Carlos Lopes, who later won at the Olympics.

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