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September 29, 2000
Indian quartet out of sprint relaysThe Rediff Team
The Indian 4x100 metre relay squad of Thirugnana Durai, Rajeev Balakrishnan, Ajay Raj Singh and Anil Kumar crashed out in the first heat of the event, on Friday morning.
The Indians ran a disappointing 40.23 in a heat won by Cote d'Ivoire with a time of 39.06, with Thailand coming in second in 39.13.
India, with some awful baton-changes between runners number two and three and again, between three and four, were never in the race, finishing seventh -- a good 1.17 seconds behind the leaders.
The heat produced a shock with the crack British team of Allyn Condon, Jason Gardner, Marlon Devonish and Dwain Chambers were disqualified, following an illegal baton-change in the second leg, with the British runner starting too early, and then ending up outside the zone when the baton changed hands.
In heat two, Brazil touched first in 38.32, with Italy coming second in 38.34. Heat three went to France in 39, while Greece, with newly crowned 200m sprint king Konstantinos Kenteris running the third leg, coasting through second in 39.21.
Heat four went to Cuba in 38.74, with Australia in second, with 38.76 on the clock. The final heat was taken by the US, in 38.15 -- this, with the fancied US not fielding their first team. Maurice Greene ran the last lap and, after a stutter on the baton exchange, powered away to touch home ahead of the field. Japan came in second in 38.52.
As the event is set up, the two top finishers from each group go through to the next round. The six fastest losers join them, to make up the second round of 16.
Nigeria, Jamaica and Slovenia, all from heat two, Canada from heat three, Trinidad and Tobago from heat four and Poland from heat five qualified as the fastest losers.
The second round will be run this evening, with the finals scheduled for Saturday.
Forty teams entered, one did not line up to run, Great Britain was disqualified and of the other 38, India on timing finished 34th.
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