Indian men's relay team finishes 5th at World Athletics C'ships 2023: Watch
The Indian men's 400m quartet of Muhammad Anas, Amoj Jacob, Muhammad Ajmal and Rajesh Ramesh earned a best-ever finish for the country in relay events in the history of the World Athletics Championships.
Away from the din of Neeraj Chopra's gold at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Sunday, the Indian men's 4x400m relay team created history of their own. Their 5th place finish in the men's relay final is the best ever result for India in any relay event at the Worlds, and it is the best finish for India at any event at this edition next to Neeraj's world title.
The Indian men’s quartet of Muhammad Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Muhammad Ajmal Variyathodi and Rajesh Ramesh ran a credible race to finish fifth by clocking 2:59.92 in the finals of men’s 4x400m relay event at the World Athletics Championships 2023. USA won the gold medal with a time of 2:57.31.
France took silver and Great Britain took bronze.
The men's relay team were the first Indian team to reach a World Championship final. During the qualification round, they shattered the Asian record — previously held by Japan — by clocking 2:59.05 to qualify for their maiden final.
India's relay team
For the four sprinters, this 5th-place finish on the world stage is the sweetest victory of their careers.
For Muhammad Anas, the oldest member of the team at 28, this marks his comeback from a long period of injury and lack of form. Just the third 400m male sprinter from India to have qualified for the Olympics and an Asian Games silver medallist in the past, Anas had been written off earlier this year.
The other sprinter from Kerala, Md Ajmal, is a 25-year-old who has switched to the 400m discipline from the shorter sprints just two years ago. Amoj Jacob, also Kerala-born but raised in Delhi, has been on the fringes of the Indian team with injuries.
Rajesh Ramesh, the youngest of the four at 23, the anchor leg runner hailing from Tamil Nadu, worked as a ticket collector at the Trichy railway station after Covid-19 nearly ended his career in 2020.