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September 29, 2000
Indian women out of 4x400 relayThe Rediff Team
Another race, another disaster for India's track team.
Running in heat two of the women's 4x400m on Friday afternoon, the Indians seemed to have something of a chance, given that its national record of 3:28.11 compared favourably with that of at least two other nations (Puerto Rico and Colombia) of the 6 teams running.
As it happened, though, the Indian quartet didn't stand a chance, coming in fifth in 3:31.46 -- well outside its own national record, and yet another eyebrow-raiser on the way such timings were manipulated to ensure that sub-standard teams entered for the Olympics. Only Puerto Rico finished behind India.
More relevant, is the fact that the Indians came in a good 6.18 seconds behind the heat leaders, Great Britain. Jamaica led early, opening up a six metre gap ahead of Britain, but the British began covering the gap around the time of the second baton change. The British then attacked in the third lap, and in the final lap it boiled down to a race between Russia, Britain and Jamaica. Great Britan edged the other two, going home in a time of 3:25.28. Jamaica was a close second and Russia came third after timing its challenge a little late.
In heat one, the US quartet finished top of the heap in 3:23.95 with Cuba and Belarus touching in second and third place. A no problems race for the US.
The third heat saw Australia produce a superb run in the third and last laps, with Nova Peris-Kneebone anchoring the home team into second place in a new national time. The Aussies appeared to have left their challenge a bit late, enabling Nigeria to take it home in 3.23.00.
When the three heats were completed, the Indian quartet of Paramjit Kaur, Jincy Phillip, Rosa Kutty and Beenamol had recorded the 15th fastest time in a field of 21 teams.
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