Arokia, Anas miss Rio berth

Tamil Nadu’s Arokia Rajiv and Kerala’s Mohammed Anas clocked an identical 46.23s in the men’s individual 400m sprint in the Herouville Elite athletics meet. The Rio entry standard in the 400m is 45.40s.

Arokia Rajiv (second from left), Mohammad Anas (second from right) with the rest of the 4x400m relay team and coach (centre).   -  Special Arrangement

Five days after helping the Indian relay team break the men’s 4x400m national record in Turkey and raising hopes of an Olympics berth, Tamil Nadu’s Arokia Rajiv and Kerala’s Mohammed Anas were at Herouville-St. Clair in France on Thursday night trying to book their Rio berths in the individual 400m.

But there was only disappointment as the two clocked an identical 46.23s, in two different finals, while finishing second in the Herouville Elite athletics meet, near Paris. The Rio entry standard in the 400m is 45.40s.

Arokia had clocked 45.47s while breaking the National record at the Federation Cup in New Delhi at the end of April while Anas had finished second in a personal-best 45.75s. Turkey’s Yavuz Can, who had beaten a bunch of Indians at home at Erzurum recently, was the fastest at Herouville (45.86s).

Arokia had clocked 46.13 and Anas had come in at 46.22 at Erzurum while the others, Kunhumuhammed (46.68) and A. Dharun (46.81) were a lot slower.