Tamil Nadu’s Vithya Ramraj shocked Himanshi Malik and Aishwarya Mishra as she won the women’s 400m in a personal best 52.40s at the Indian Grand Prix-5 athletics in Chandigarh on Sunday.
The women’s quarter-mile results – the event was run as two races, A and B – should give a big worry to the selectors, regarding the composition of the 4x400m relay team ahead of this month’s Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Himanshi, the fastest quarter-miler in the Asiad relay team with her 51.76s at the recent inter-State Nationals in Bhubaneswar, could only finish 15th overall with a shocking 57.59s while Aishwarya was eighth (53.35). The two will also be running the individual 400m at Hangzhou.
Prachi (53.01) and Kiran Pahal (53.14), who do not figure in the Asiad relay team cleared by the Sports Ministry recently, finished third and fifth overall today. Vithya also has not been named in the six-member relay team, but since she figures in the Asiad team as a 400m hurdler, she could be used in the relay too.
Incidentally, Asian women’s 100m hurdles gold medallist Jyothi Yarraji, who was making her 400m debut, clocked 53.91 while finishing 10th.
Season best for Jinson Johnson
Meanwhile, Amoj Jacob was the fastest in the men’s 400m, which was run as five races, while Asian Games champion Jinson Johnson clocked a season-best 3:39.32s while taking the men’s 1500m title.
Abha Khatau impresses
Abha Khatau, who is not in the Asiad team, beat the two – Kiran Baliyan (17.92m) and Manpreet Kaur (16.30) – who figure in the squad for Hangzhou with a quality 18.02m effort while winning the women’s shot put.
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