Indian men’s 4x100m relay team disqualified

A member of the team crossed his lane during the exchange of baton in the third leg of the race.

Amiya Kumar Mallick looks towards the replay on a screen after India was disqualified.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

 

The Indian men’s 4x100 relay team was disqualified after one member of the quartet crossed his lane during the exchange of baton in the final leg at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships here on Friday.

The Indian team of John Anoorup, V. K. Elakkiya Dasan, J. Debnath and Amiya Kumar Mallick finished the race ahead of Korea in a photo finish but was later disqualified to the horror of the host country.

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It was a smooth race for the Indians till the first and second leg but the problem occurred during the exchange of baton between Debnath, who ran the third leg, and Mallick. The exchange took longer than usual and while taking the baton from Debnath, Mallick had crossed the lane.

The Indians were running in the third lane while the Koreans were on the fourth lane in the second heat. The Korean team was declared to have won the heat in 40.18 seconds. The other heat was won by China in a fast time of 39.06 seconds. Chinese Taipei qualified for the finals with the second best timing of 39.40secs while Thailand had the third best time of 39.48 seconds.

‘Mistake’

The Indians were not the favourites in this event but could have pushed themselves for a bronze in front of the home crowd. “During practice, baton exchange has been smooth but today it so happened that it (baton exchange) was not smooth and there was a mistake,” Anoorup said after the race.

In the other event of the morning session, Anu Raghavan, Jauna Murmu and M Arpitha qualified for the women’s 400m hurdles finals. Juana (57.96 secs) and Raghavan (58.26 secs) finished second and third behind Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi (57.34 secs) in the second heat while Arpitha was third in the first heat in 1:00.05.

The top Japanese in the contest, Sayaka Aoki, who has a season’s best of 56.32secs, came in fourth in a quick heat number one and qualified as one of the fastest losers.