The AFI has decided to restructure its junior program to be able to build on the success of javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, apart from Neeraj and discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur, no Indian athlete had made it to the medal rounds, in Tokyo.
In a two-day executive council meeting of the AFI, the officials discussed several ways to improve the junior structure program to build on the momentum gained after Neeraj Chopra’s successful campaign at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It was decided that more support will be given to support juniors in events like 400m, javelin throw, long jump, triple jump, and race walking.
"We want our juniors athletes to have strong foundation and provide them more competition. It will be a boost for the Junior Programme that AFI launched three decades ago. In order to give our athletes more competition in the preparatory stage, we will conduct Zonal level meets,” said AFI President Adille Sumariwalla.
Apart from Neeraj Chopra and Kamalpreet Kaur, no other Indian athlete had made it to the medal round at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The AFI has already done a review of the athletes and coaches and even made a few bold decisions regarding the same. Meanwhile, the governing body is also aiming to broaden the gap the talent acquisition process in the junior levels.
"Apart from our flagship National Inter-District Junior Athletics Meet, which is the world's largest talent search programme, we will go the extra mile and identify talent out of competitions," added the top-official.