Monday, December 6, 2021

Indian men’s 4x400m relay team ups the ante and gets closer to Olympic berth

The Indian men’s 4x400m relay team on Friday enhanced its chances of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next month with a 3:01.89 effort that would lift it from 16th on the World Athletics Road to Olympic Games ranking to 13th in the 60th Fast&Up National Inter-State Athletics Championships at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports in Patiala.


Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv and Noah Nirmal Tom took the track with the singular aim of improving its time from 3:02.61 in the Indian Grand Prix 4 here on Monday. It could heave a sigh of relief after the squad attained that goal with a determined effort against the clock.

An Indian team had clocked 3:02.59 in Turkey on July 25, 2019, but that time had left it in the 16th place. With the Olympic qualification window closing on June 29, the squad had to come up with its fastest effort since July 10, 2016 when Kunju Muhammed, Muhammad Anas, Ayyasamy Dhrun and Arokia Rajiv clocked 3:00.91 in Bengaluru – the best by an Indian team.

The women’s 4x100m quartet of Archana Suseendran, Hima Das, S Dhanalakshmi and Dutee Chand, chasing the magical mark of 43.05 seconds to attain qualification for the Olympic Games, was 0.45 seconds short in the heats on Friday. The team, which set a New National Record of 43.47 seconds in the Indian Grand Prix 4 on Monday, was credited with a time faster than the meet record (45.69) standing in the name of Tamil Nadu.

C Kanimozhi, who clocked a personal best of 13.63 in the 100m Hurdles in the Federation Cup here on March 15 this year, held off a challenge by Agasara Nandini. The Telangana girl improved on her own career best from 13.88 to 13.70. Sri Lanka’s WVL Sugandi had to settle for the third place behind the two Indians who have battled for the 100m hurdles prize this year.

Madhya Pradesh’s Vikram Bharatsingh Bangriya won the gruelling men’s 10000m race from Kartik Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) while Parul Chaudhary (Uttar Pradesh) dominated the women’s 5000m event, winning comfortably from Maharashtra’s Komal Chandrakant Jadgalde and Ankita Dhyani (Uttarakhand).

Returning to competition after nearly two years, Manju Bala (Rajasthan) claimed the Hammer Throw gold with a 61.08m effort on her fifth try at the Punjabi University ground. As many as five of her throws were better than the second-placed Sarita R Singh (Uttar Pradesh) whose best was a 56.13 on a day when she registered three no marks.

In the men’s 100m heats in the morning, Gurindervir Singh (Punjab) caught the eye with a 10.41 seconds sprint while Amiya Malik (Odisha) showed glimpses of regaining form with 10.50 seconds in winning his heats.

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