AFI to close national camps after Paris Olympics

The AFI's move means that top players will not train under its auspices after the Paris Olympics 2024, but the federation will continue to monitor their progress.

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Payal Debnath
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AFI to close national camps after Paris Olympics

AFI to discontinue national camps post Paris Olympics. Image- News 18

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Sunday decided that they will not organize a national camp for elite athletes after the Paris Olympics and will open doors to public and private entities to look after top athletes. 

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AFI to discontinue national camps post Paris Olympics. Image- News 18
AFI to discontinue national camps post Paris Olympics. Image- News 18

The AFI's move means that top players like Neeraj Chopra, Murali Srishankar and Avinash Sable will not train under its auspices after the Paris Olympics 2024, but the federation will continue to monitor their progress. Players will now come directly under public and private entities including state governments like Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The AFI, however, will form a team of coaches and monitor the players. They currently conducts centralized national training camps for around 130 to 150 elite players under the guidance of 50 to 60 support staff. 

It is organized mainly at NIS Patiala, Sci Center in Bangalore and LNCPE in Thiruvananthapuram. Neeraj mostly trains outside India while Srishankar's father S Murali trains in Kerala. Both are supported by JSW. AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said the idea behind this is to decentralize the camps and spread them across the country so that players can train closer to their homes. However, the Junior National Training Camp will be held in NCOE with the help of the Federation. 

AFI also said that it will continue to train the men's quadruple 400m, women's quadruple 400m and mixed quadruple 400m relay teams under him. It will also take charge of the players during overseas experience tours. The federation not organizing the national camp means that there will be less control over the dope testing of the players. AFI accepted this and said that there are more pros than cons of this decision. Public and private units taking responsibility for training will also increase the pool of players which is currently between 100 and 150 players. 

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Former veteran player and senior vice-president of AFI, Anju Bobby George said that this decision of AFI is a step in the right direction.

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Olympics Indian Athletics Paris Olympics 2024