The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has said that the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships at Panchkula from June 27 to 30 will be a mandatory event for all the athletes barring some exceptions, including World and Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra who will compete in Europe closer to the Paris Olympics.

The inter-state meet will be the last domestic competition for the athletes to qualify for the Olympics.

“The last date to qualify for the Paris Olympics is June 30. Suppose we have four javelin throwers who have qualified, but we can only send three. It is mandatory to participate in Panchkula to prove themselves,” chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair said on Saturday.

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But the AFI may consider some exceptions for world standard athletes like Chopra, said Radhakrishnan.

As race walking has been scrapped at the inter-state meet considering the fact that conditions would be hot and humid at Panchkula around that time, Radhakrishnan said the race walkers who qualified for Paris Olympics wanted more time to recover from the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships held in Antalya on April 21.

“There is an event in Slovakia in June. It is in the planning stage and is not approved yet that walkers will compete in that and we will have selection from that,” said Radhakrishnan.

Five male race walkers have achieved Olympic qualification time, but only three will be selected.