CHENNAI: The 4x400m relay teams, both men's and women's, were precariously placed at No 16 on the World Athletics' Road to Tokyo list. With rest of the world buzzing with competitions, the last place spots were always fraught with danger.
The inter-state senior national athletics competition in Patiala was considered as a platform for some athletes to qualify for the Olympics before the June 29 deadline. On Friday, the 4x400m men's team had a speedy round as they clocked 3:01.89s. This timing is good enough to push them to No 13 on the Road to Tokyo list.
The quartet of Mohammad Anas, Amoj Jacob, Arokiya Rajiv and Noah Nirmal Tom had an opportunity to attain a better timing at the Indian GP 4 but managed 3:02.61s. The 4x100m women's relay team that is trying to qualify for the Olympics managed 43.50, way behind their effort of 43.37s during the IGP4.
The quartet of Archana Suseendran, Hima Das, Dhanalakshmi S and Dutee Chand needed 43.05s to climb up to No 16, above Nigeria on the Road to Tokyo list. The 4x400m women's relay is placed No 16. Arokia Rajiv was satisfied with the effort.
"We knew we would get a good time today. We could have got an even better time to finish in the top 10. Focus between now and Tokyo will on improving on our individual timings, but no target as such," he told The New Indian Express.
"Apart from that we will also focus on baton exchange, speed during the turn and starting strongly. Basically everything. All of us are fit and healthy. Final team (both men's and mixed) hasn’t been decided yet but feeling confident that we have a chance to do well in both," Rajiv added.
All relay finals will be on June 29. Anas felt the IGP-4 helped the team to secure this timing. "In the Indian GP-4 we were racing together after quite some time. That's why we needed time to get into the groove. Our target was to run below 3.02s. We hope to give improved performance in final," said Anas.
Vikram Bharatsingh Bangriya (MP) 30:16.44
Kartik Kumar (UP) 30:25.79
Dinesh (Maharashtra) 30:50.74
Shekhar Kumar Pandey (UP) 4.80m
Dhirendra Kumar (UP) 4.50
Parveen Kumar (Haryana) 4.50
Parul Chaudhary (UP) 16:04.07
Komal C Jagdale (Maharashtra) 16:26.89
Ankita Dhyani (Uttarakhand) 16:58.07
C Kanimozhi (TN) 13.66s
Agasara Nandini (Telangana) 13.70
WVL Sugandi (SL) 13.90