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'I can run under 50 secs if injury free'- 400m gold medalist Anjali

Returning to track after four years, Anjali Devi believes that she can run 400m under 50 seconds if she remains injury free.

I can run under 50 secs if injury free- 400m gold medalist Anjali

Anjali Devi with her gold medal at Inter-State National Athletics Championships. (source: AFI)



Updated: 16 Jun 2023 4:38 PM GMT

Haryana's Anjali Devi ran a stunning personal best time in her first competition in four years to win the women's 400m gold and secure a place in the Asian Games on the second day of the National Inter-State Championship here on Friday.

Coming back after a long injury layoff, the 24-year-old Anjali, who last ran a 400m race in October 2019 at the Indian Open Championships in Ranchi, clocked 51.48 seconds to beat the up-and-coming Haimashi Malik (51.76), also of Haryana, for the gold medal at the Kalinga Stadium.

Anjali, whose earlier personal best was the 51.53 she had clocked in Lucknow, left behind the Asian Games qualifying time of 52.96 seconds by nearly one and a half seconds.

The 21-year-old Malik, as well as the bronze winner R Vithya Ramraj (52.49) of Tamil Nadu and fourth place finisher Aishwarya Kailash Mishra (52.79) of Maharashtra, all ran below the Asian Games qualifying time.

But, only two of the four will be selected as a country can send just two participants per event.

"I have been injured for the last 3-4 years and I used to sustain injury whenever a competition came. It was an emotional 3-4 years. I was having depression. I qualified for the Tokyo Olympics but a few months before the Games, my quad muscles were completely torn," Anjali said after the race.

"I can improve my timing a lot because I am taking part hereafter four-five weeks of training at the national camp. I am completely recovered. I will do hard work at the national camp and do well in the Asian Games and Olympics. I can run 49.9 if I remain injury free and do hard training."

In the morning session Anjali had run 52.03 in the semifinal heats while she had clocked 52.89 in the heats round one on Thursday. All the three races she had run, after recovering from a serious injury she had sustained in 2019, bettered the Asian Games qualifying mark.

Four Indian quarter-milers running below 53 seconds augurs well for the country's hopes of winning six straight Asian Games gold in women's 4x400m relay since 2002.

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