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World Relay C'ships: Indian men's 4x400m team fail to finish, Rajesh Ramesh picks up injury

While the mixed team finished 25th overall and the women's team finished 13th in the heats, the men's team could not even finish the race.

World Relay Cships: Indian mens 4x400m team fail to finish, Rajesh Ramesh picks up injury

Indian 4x400m relay team at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in 2023. (FILE PHOTO: AFI)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 5 May 2024 8:06 AM GMT

Indian relay teams put up disappointing shows on the opening day of the World Relay Championships, a 2024 Paris Olympics qualifying event, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas on Sunday morning.

The mixed relay team, first up in the competition, finished sixth in their heat and 25th overall, missing out on a chance of direct qualifying.

The quartet of Rajesh Ramesh, Rupal, Avinash Krishna Kumar and Jyothika Sri Dandi finished at the bottom of the Heat 2 as they clocked a cumulative timing of 3:20.36s.

The USA and Nigeria qualified for the Olympics as the top two finishers in the heat. While the USA quartet clocked 3:11.52s, Nigeria secured the spot racing in 3:13.79s.

In the women's 4x400m race, the quartet of Vithya Ramraj, MR Poovamma, who has recently cleared of a doping ban, Jyothika and Subha V fared better as they clocked 3:29.74s to finish 5th in their heat and 14th overall, but missed out on a direct qualifying chance.

Rajesh Ramesh picks up injury

But the most disappointing result was delivered by the men's relay team, comprising Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Rajesh Ramesh, Muhammad Ajmal and Amoj Jacob, competing in the Heat 4, as they could not even finish the race.

After Muhammad Anas ran the first leg in 45.93s, Ramesh, running for the second time today, was seen hobbling at the first curve of his 400m lap, leading to India's withdrawal from the heat.

Ramesh could barely put his left leg forward after picking up the pace. He was in the third position when he picked up the injury. The state of his injury remains unclear.

India eventually missed out on a chance to secure a Paris Olympics quota place.

This result is particularly disappointing because Anas, Rajesh, Ajmal and Amoj delivered a stunning performance at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest last year. They hold the men’s 4x400m national and Asian records with a timing of 2:59.05, logged at the World Championships last year.

The quartet also won the Asian Games gold medal in men’s 4x400m relay at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games.

2nd chance to qualify for Paris Olympics

However, the Indian relay teams will get a second chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics on Monday during round two of the qualifications where all the other teams which finished outside the top two in their respective heats on Sunday will try their luck for another shot at the qualification.

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