New Delhi: India on Tuesday named the biggest ever track and field squad in Commonwealth Games as Athletics Federation of India announced 90 athletes for the October 3-14 multi-sport event here with almost all big names making the cut.
The squad, which have 46 men and 44 women, will compete in 45 out of 46 track and field events. No athlete has been named for pole vault. The athletes for 20km walk, both men and women, will be announced later.
"It's the biggest Indian athletics squad in Commonwealth Games. We are the host country and we are expecting the highest number of medals also this time. We are expecting six to eight medals," AFI officiating Secretary Ravinder Chaudhry said.
"We will prune the four relay squads but with the naming of 20km walk for men and women, the total number will remain more or less 90. We will announce the 20km walk teams after September 15 and prune the relay teams also. Under international rules, we can do so 15 days before the Games," he said.
Chaudhry said the squad have a few athletes who have not crossed the qualifying standard set by the AFI.
"We have named a very few athletes as token entry, those who do not touch the qualifying mark. We are doing that as we are the host country," he added.
The squad was announced after three meetings of Selection Committee, which was chaired by Gurbachan Singh Randhawa and attended by other members Adille Sumariwala, Anusuya Bai, Bahadur Singh, Gopal Saini, Parveen Jolly and Chaudhry.
The athletes were selected based on their performances from April this year till the Inter-State Athletics Meet held at Patiala early this month.
The events from which India can win medals include men's and women's discus throw, women's 4X400m relay, men's shot put, men's and women's triple jump and women's 800m.
US-based national record holder Vikas Gowda was the lone entrant and medal prospect in men's discus while a medal can also be expected from Krishna Poonia, Harwant Kaur and Seema Antil in women's discus throw.
Om Prakash is another medal prospect in men's shot put and he has been named along with Sourav Vij.
National record holder Renjith Maheswari and Mayookha Johny are medal prospects in men's and women's triple jump.
Women middle distance runner Tintu Luka, a protege of legendary P T Usha, has improved a lot in 800m race and she is another medal prospect. National record holder Sinimole Paulose has also been named in the same event.
Other top Indian performers in the squad include Chatholi Hamza (men's 1500m), Pankaj Dimri (men's 800m), Joseph Abraham (men's 400m Hurdles), Hari Shankar Roy (men's high jump) and Preeja Sreedharan (women's 10,000m).