The Indian 4x400m mixed relay team produced a defining performance on late Saturday night as they booked a ticket to Tokyo Olympics by virtue of finishing in top 8 in the ongoing World Athletics Championships. The team comprising Mohammad Anas, V.K. Vismaya, Jisna Mathew and Noah Nirmal Tom clocked 3:16.14 to finish third in Heat 2 and qualify for the final. This makes them the first quartet from India to make it to the final of the mixed relay at the Worlds. The Indian team finished behind Poland and Brazil.
The Indian team, bettering their previous season-best of 3:16.47 edged Belgium by two-hundredths of a second with the latter finishing with a time of 3:16.16. The finalists (top 8) in relay races in the World Championships are automatic qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics.
Earlier in the day, ace sprinter Dutee Chand’s campaign in the World Athletics Championships came to an end. Dutee, who took part only in the 100m dash in Doha, finished seventh in the heat with a time of 11.48 seconds.
The top three from the six heats and the next six best times overall make it to the semifinal that will be held on Sunday. Dutee’s timing put her out of contention on both counts. It is also 0.22 seconds less than her best time, which is also the national record in the category.
In a heat that included Jamaican reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, Dutee had the fastest reaction time which got her of to a good start. She was ahead of the pack at the halfway stage but then fell behind in the final stretch.
Later, MP Jabir finished fifth in the semifinal of the 400m men’s hurdles with a time of 49.71 seconds. He had managed a time of 49.62 in the heats on Friday which saw him qualify for the semifinals.
(With Agency Inputs)