PALAKKAD: P U Chitra, who won gold in the 1500 metre at the Asian Athletic Championship in Doha, was given a rousing reception at the Coimbatore airport on Friday by the Kerala Sports Council and the Palakkad District Sports Council.
Those who were present at the airport included District Sports Council president K Premkumar, State Sports Council representative M Ramachandran and executive committee members A Thulasidas , P C Eliamma and T K Henry.
N S Sijin, the coach of P U Chitra, told Express she had recorded 4 minutes 14.56 seconds in the 1500 m at the Asian Athletic championship.
Under normal circumstances, she will not be able to participate in the World Championships to be held in Doha from September 27 to October 6 as the world qualifying standard was 4 minutes and 06.50 seconds.
The 23-year-old senior clerk of the Railways had created quite a controversy in 2017 when she was omitted from the Indian squad for the World Championship to be held in London. Sports Minister A C Moidheen had visited her house in Mundur and extended support to her.
At that time, Chitra had won gold at the Asian Athletic championship held in Bhubaneswar but was still overlooked for the world championship. Sijin said a final call on the participation of Chitra in the forthcoming world championship will be taken by the Athletics Federation of India.
There is a provision by which an athlete who has won the area championships (with the approval of the technical delegate who will assess the standard of specific events) can participate in the world championship.
Therefore, the participation of Chitra at the world championship will depend on the assessment of the technical delegate of the Athletic Federation that the standard of the Asian Athletic championship in Doha was satisfactory.
Sijin said Chitra would spend two days at her home in Mundur and leave for Ooty on Sunday to participate in the national coaching camp.