Had jostle with US not happened, we could have won the heat: Amoj Jacob
India's relay team member Amoj Jacob says the jostle with the American runner during the heats of the World Athletics Championships meant that a lot of momentum was lost.
India's relay team member Amoj Jacob, referring to the controversial incident during the heats of the World Athletics Championships when an alleged infraction by the USA kept India at second spot, said on Tuesday that India could have upstaged the USA had it not happened.
“You do lose momentum following such an incident. It’s very difficult to catch up, no matter how hard you try. Had the jostle not happened, who knows, we would have won the heat," Jacob said at an event in New Delhi to mark National Sports Day.
A controversy had erupted after American Justin Robinson appeared to jostle with Rajesh Ramesh on the back straight of the anchor leg during the heats. USA finished the heat in first place. India finished in second place with a new national record.
Jacob, the second runner in the quartet, said that after shattering the Asian record of 2:59.51, “barring unforseen circumstances, we will win the Hangzhou Asian Games gold, and will also aim for a podium finish at the Olympic next year (if we qualify)“.
Amoj added that the experience at the World Championships was a huge morale booster ahead of the Asian Games.
“We will have less pressure in Hangzhou (Asian Games), and our effort will be to further improve the Asian record we set at the Worlds,” said Jacob.
Asked what was going through his mind during the heat just before he took the baton from Muhammad Anas, the runner said, “The focus is on the baton... that it should not fall, come what may, and my mind was occupied only by that thought. The job of the second runner is to get the team in a good position, so I just took the baton and ran as fast as I could.”
(With PTI inputs)