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, that was established in 1946. Despite its huge population however, at the highest level of the sport, only a handful of Indian athletes have been able to win the gold medal at a world (or major) championship. The situation began to change in the 21st century as Indians began to show more interest in sports more broadly and better equipment for athletics started to be constructed at an individual level. On a global scale it is among the most prosperous Asian nations, although it is a way from China in comparison to China and Japan.
On the national level there three major athletics events The most important of which are the annual Indian National Open Athletics Championships and the Indian Inter State Senior Athletics Championships (both first held in the year 1961) as well as each year, the quadrennial 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. Alongside the main senior championships, there are championships for youth and athletes under 18 at national and sub-national levels and also championships for senior athletes that are not champions as part of 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 of Indian athletics team.
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