The Indian mixed 4x400m relay team may miss the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary by a whisker as it failed to improve upon its best timing of the season during the Sri Lankan National Championships in Colombo on Sunday.
The Indian team is currently placed at 17th spot in the world rankings with the qualifying period window ending on Sunday. Sixteen teams will compete in the August 17 championships.
After the deadline is over on Sunday midnight, World Athletics will send invites to all the national bodies whose athletes make the cut in their respective events. If any member country decides to pull out any of their qualified athletes or relay teams, the WA will update the final list of qualified athletes on August 2.
“Yes, our mixed 4x400m relay team is at 17th spot in the Road to Budapest list (prepared by WA) out of which 16 to be qualified, we may miss unless a team in the top 16 pulls out,” said a coach at the national camp.
For relay races, the top eight teams at the World Championships in the USA last year will get automatic qualification and they will be joined by another eight from the top list -- the best eight timers of the season.
On Sunday, the Indian mixed 4x400m relay quartet of Amoj Jacob, Aishwarya Mishra, Muhammed Anas and Himanshi Malik failed to improve upon their season’s best timing of 3 minute and 14.70 seconds though they won the race at the Sri Lankan National Championships.
They had gone to Colombo with the hope of improving upon the timing but could only clock 3:17.34 to remain at 17th spot in the rankings.
The women’s 4x400m relay team is also not in the reckoning for World Championships qualification.
But, the silver lining is that the men’s 4x400m relay team is set to qualify for the World Championships as it is placed at 14th out of 16 to make the cut.
Meanwhile, Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, star long jumper Murali Sreeshankar and ace 3000m steeplechaser Avinash Sable will headline the country’s challenge in the World Championships.
Chopra qualified as the reigning Diamond League champion, while Sreeshankar and Sable breached the entry standard. Jeswin Aldrin has also qualified in the men’s long jump by breaching entry standards and so did Asian record holder shot putter Tajinderpal Toor Singh.
Praveen Chithravel, Abdulla Aboobacker and Eldhose Paul are set to compete in the men’s triple jump competitions.
Chithravel breached the entry standard, while Aboobacker and Paul will make the cut in world ranking quota.
The men’s 20km race walk event will also see three Indians in action as Akshdeep Singh, Vikash Singh and Paramjeet Bisht made it through entry standard.
India was set to field three athletes in men’s javelin throw, including Chopra, but Rohit Yadav pulled out due to surgery on his throwing elbow. DP Manu will be the second javelin thrower in the fray.
Jyothi Yarraji and Parul Chaudhary have qualified in women’s 100m hurdle and 3000m steeplechase as Asian champions. Long jumper Shaili Singh and javelin thrower Annu Rani are likely to qualify in the world ranking quota.
In women’s 20km walk race, Priyanka Goswami has already qualified by breaching the entry standard, while Bhawna Jat is also likely to make the cut in world ranking quota.
Kishan Kumar (800m), Ajay Kumar Saroj (1500m), Sarvesh Anil Kushare and Tejaswin Shankar (high jump) and Ram Baboo (men’s 35km race walk) are also set to qualify in the world ranking quota. Santhosh Kumar is also set to make the cut in men’s 400m hurdles.
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