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World Athletics Relays 2024: Indian relay teams fall short on day 1, eye Olympic quotas on day 2

Published at :May 5, 2024 at 6:29 PM
Modified at :May 6, 2024 at 11:26 PM
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(Courtesy : @afiindia/X)

Ashwathy Rajendran

The top two teams from each heat will qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics on day 2.

India faced disappointment on the first day of qualifications for World Athletics Relays 2024 as all three teams missed out on the opportunity to secure quotas for the Paris Olympics in the men’s, women’s, and mixed 4x400m relay races. They will get one final chance to qualify for the Olympics on Sunday at the World Athletics Relays 2024 in Nassau, Bahamas.

In the men’s relay, the quartet who clinched the gold at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games and currently holds both the national and Asian records in the event, consisting of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Rajesh Ramesh, Muhammed Ajmal, and Amoj Jacob, aimed to secure a spot for Paris with a top-two finish in heat number four.

However, their hopes were dashed when Rajesh was forced to exit the race midway due to a heartbreaking injury, clutching his left leg in pain. Anas had already completed the first leg of the race in 45.93 seconds in the first split, which was the second-best among the teams in the heats.

Rajesh participated in the mixed 4x400m race three hours before the men’s event and, unfortunately, experienced cramps in his leg muscles and stumbled at the first bend. The team will get another shot on Sunday during the second round of Olympic qualifications.

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All the teams that didn’t secure a top-two finish in their heats on Day 1 will have their best chance to qualify for a spot in the Paris Games on Day 2. These teams will be divided into three heats, with the top two from each heat earning a ticket to Paris.

In the mixed 4x400m event, the Indian team, consisting of Rajesh Ramesh, Rupal Chaudhary, Avinash Krishna Kumar, and Jyothika Sri Dandi, struggled and finished sixth in heat number two with a time of 3 minutes and 20.36 seconds.

Following that, the Indian team comprising Vithya Ramraj, M R Poovamma, Jyothika Sri Dandi, and Subha Venkatesan finished fifth in heat number one, clocked in at 3 minutes and 29.74 seconds.

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