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Women's 4 x 400m team sets national mark
June 28, 2004 19:27 IST
The Indian women's 4 x 400 metres relay team almost booked a ticket to the Athens Olympics after setting a new a national record of three minutes, 27.35 seconds and winning the gold medal in the second leg of the 2004 Asian Grand Prix Athletics Series in Colombo.
India, who were ranked 20th by the IAAF in the last Athens relay qualification list, moved up several places to remain in contention for a berth in the Olympics.
The top 16 nations qualify for Athens with the cut-off date set for July 21.
The quartet of Manjit Kaur, K M Beenamol, Rajwinder Kaur and Chitra K Soman clocked India's first sub 3:28 time and in the process erased the earlier mark set by Beenamol, Paramjit Kaur, Jincy Philips and Manjima Kuriakose at Chennai on July 31, 2000.
Last week in the first leg of the Grand Prix at Songkla, Thailand, they had clocked 3:29.53 seconds.
India ended yesterday's meet with three gold, four silver and two bronze medals.
The men's 4 x 400 relay team comprising Ramachandran, Bhupinder Singh, K M Binu and Satbir Singh also kept their Olympic hopes alive, clocking 3:04.30 seconds to win the gold.
However, the timing was slower than 3:03.15 set by India in Songkla.
India's 'B' team finished a distant third in 3:26.34 seconds behind Sri Lanka, who was second in 3:04.46.
The third gold was won by Manjit Kaur in the women's 400m. She clocked 52.52 seconds.
The silver medal winners were K J Manoj Lal (men's 400m), Navpreet Singh (men's shot put), Neelam J Singh (women's discus) and J J Shobha (women's long jump).
Shobha, whose pet event is heptathlon, also won the bronze in 100m hurdles, clocking 13.91 seconds.
Manoj Lal came far behind Sri Lankan Rohan Pradeep Kumara Fernando (45.78) in 46.75 seconds. Navpreet, who won the gold in the first leg, managed only a disappointing 18.13m.
Neelam came second with an effort of 60.63m, which was way behind the 64.30m that fetched China's Li Yan Feng the gold.
Shobha leaped to a distance of 6.63m in the women's long jump to establish herself as India's No. 2 in the event behind world No. 4 Anju Bobby George.
The third and final leg of the Grand Prix series will be held in Manila on July 1.