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Indian men's, women's relay teams qualify for Paris Oly

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 06, 2024 13:59 IST
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Relay Team

Photograph: Kind Courtesy AFI/X

The Indian men's and women's 4x400m relay teams qualified for Paris Olympics after finishing second in their respective second-round heats at the World Athletics Relays in Bahamas on Monday.

In the women's competition, the quartet of Rupal Chaudhary, M R Poovamma, Jyothika Sri Dandi and Subha Venkatesan clocked 3 minutes and 29.35 seconds to finish second behind Jamaica (3:28.54) in heat number one to book a Paris Games ticket.

Later, the men's squad of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Muhammed Ajmal, Arokia Rajiv and Amoj Jacob finished with a collective timing of 3 minutes and 3.23 seconds to also finish second in their heat, behind USA (2:59.95).

The top two teams in each of the three heats in the second round were to qualify for the Olympics to be held from July 26 to August 11.

It was a sort of a surprise that the women's 4x400m team qualified for the Olympics as the focus was more on the men's 4x400m team which has broken Asian record in back-to-back global events -- Tokyo Olympics and 2023 World Championships -- as well as winning 2023 Asian Games gold.


Relay Team

The Indian women's team had finished fifth in the first-round qualifying heat on Sunday with a time of 3 minutes and 29.74 seconds.

The men's team had failed to finish in the first-round qualifying heat after second leg runner Rajesh Ramesh pulled out midway due to cramps. Arokia Rajiv took the place of Ramesh in the team and he ran the third leg after Anas and Ajmal.

The Indian men's 4x400m team was on third position when anchor-leg runner Jacob took the baton from Arokia but the Delhi boy ran a fantastic race to overtake his Mexican opponent and finish second.

It was not about the timing but more about Olympics qualification for the Indian men's team which ran 3:00.25 at the Tokyo Olympics for the then Asian record before bettering it during the 2023 World Championships with yet another Asian record of 2:59.05. Monday's timing was well below the team's best.

India had even given a mighty scare to formidable USA during the heat race at the 2023 Budapest World Championships before settling for the second place.

Meanwhile, India pulled out of the mixed 4x400m relay second round heat races on Monday as Ramesh was not available after suffering muscle cramps while running the men's 4x400m first round heat on Sunday.

Ramesh had run both the mixed 4x400m and men's 4x400m races on Sunday.

India had featured in mixed 4x400m relay in the Tokyo Olympics where the event made its debut.

The Indian women's 4x400m relay team will be returning to Olympics after missing out in Tokyo Games. The Paris participation will be the eighth time for the Indian women's 4x400m team, the first being in 1984 Games.

For the men's 4x400m, this will be the fourth time India will be taking part in the Olympics, the first being in the 2000 Sydney Games.

With this, India now have at least 19 Paris-bound track and field athletes and the list includes defending javelin throw champion Neeraj Chopra among others.

The athletics events at the Games will begin on August 1.

A total of 70 teams have qualified for relay events at the Paris Olympics following two days of thrilling action at the World Athletics Relays Bahamas.

Fourteen teams in each of the five disciplines being contested in Nassau -- the women's and men's 4x100m and 4x400m plus the mixed 4x400m -- automatically qualified for Paris places.

The first 40 qualified teams -- eight each in five relay events -- were confirmed on Sunday and the final 30 on Monday, following a second Olympic qualifying round for teams that missed out on day one.

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