In India the sports of athletics was first developed during the British Raj. It is controlled at a national and international levels by the Athletics Federation of India, founded in 1946. Despite the large number of people living in India and its high level of competition, of the sport, very few Indian athletes have been able to win the gold medal at a world competition or major one. This changed in the 21st century as Indians began to take an enthusiasm for athletics in general and better equipment for athletics started to be constructed at the local level. On a global scale it is among the most prosperous Asian nations, but a further from China as well as Japan.
On the national level there are three major competitions in athletics The most important of which are the annual Indian National Open Athletics Championships as well as the Indian Inter State Senior Athletics Championships (both first held in the year 1961) as well as four-yearly National Games of India (first held in 1924). The Indian National Championships event predated the Open and Inter State ones, being in place from 1924 to 1961. The Indian Marathon Championships was first held in 1938, and Indian Cross Country Championships was first held in 1938. Indian Cross Country Championships celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. The Indian Racewalking Championships was established in 2014. In addition to the primary senior championships, there are championships for the under- and athletes aged under 18 at the national and sub-national level, and also non-championship senior competitions that include the Athletics Federation Cup and Indian Athletics Grand Prix tour.
In the month of January 2021, the Sports Ministry has been appointed Belarussian trainer Nikolai Snesarev as the middle and long-distance coach for the Indian athletics team.
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