IAAF World Relays: Indian teams fail to qualify for final

Indian 4x400 women's relay runners came up with a season best effort of 3:31.93 to finish fifth in their heats; the men's relay team finished last (sixth) in Heat 2. Both the teams failed to qualify for the final.

India's Sarita Gayakwad, M.R. Poovamma Raju, Hima Das and V.K. Vismaya finished fifth in Heat 3 at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama on Saturday.   -  PTI

After keeping everybody guessing for days, Hima Das did run the IAAF World Relays but the Indian women’s 4x400m team failed to qualify for the final after finishing fourth in its heat in a season-best timing of 3:31.93s at Yokohama, Japan, on Saturday.

Canada won the heat in 3:28.75s while the United States with a world-leading 3:25.72s was the fastest qualifier to the final and France (3:29.89) picked the last berth.

The men's team of  P. Kunhu Muhammed, Jithu Baby, Jeevan Suresh and Muhammed Anas failed to make the 4x400m relay final after taking the sixth and last spot with 3:06.05s in their heat, which was won by Asian champion Japan in 3:02.55 with European champion Belgium finishing second in 3:03.70s. The United States was the fastest entering the final in 3:02.06s, while Belgium took the last spot.

The Japanese team was the lone Asian side to qualify for the men’s 4x400m final. while none of the Asians made the cut in the women’s mile relay.

And strangely, India did not field its best runners in the 4x400m mixed relay and instead opted for Jithu Baby, Sonia Baishya, Prachi and Antony Alex, who went on to finish fifth in 3:23.59s.

The Indian quartet of Anas, Poovamma, V. K. Vismaya and Arokia Rajiv had clocked a much faster 3:16.47 while winning the silver at the recent Asian championships in Doha. A similar time in Yokohama would have easily carried the team to the final.

The top ten finishers in the men’s and women’s relays (and 12 in mixed) gained automatic berths for this September’s World Championships in Doha but while the Indian men and women (Hima Das, M.R. Poovamma, Saritaben Gayakwad and V.K. Vismaya) finished 17th failed to make the cut, the mixed team was 15th.


Women's 4x400m heats

Heat 3 (Top 2 qualify)

1. Canada - 3:28.75

2. Jamaica 3:28.80 (SB)

4. INDIA - 3:31.93 (SB) - Hima Das (52.60), 2. M. R. Poovamma (53.60), 3. Saritaben Gayakwad (53.40) 4. V. K. Vismaya (52.33)

India finishes 17th out of 21 teams


Men's 4x400m heats

Heat 2 (Top 2 qualify)

1. Japan - 3:02.55

2. Belgium - 3:03.70

6. INDIA - 3:06.05 - Kunhu Muhammed (47.10s)  2. Jithu Baby (46.50) 3. Jeevan K. Suresh (47.00) 4. Muhammed Anas Yahiya (45.45)

Overall:  India finishes 17th in the 17-team field (Bahamas did not send a team)

Mixed 4x400m heats

Heat 1 (Top 2 qualify)

1. Belgium - 3:18:03

2. Brazil - 3:18:26

5. INDIA - 3:23:59

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