Ashwini set to enter 4x400 relay team

Ashwini set to enter 4x400 relay team

Ashwini Akkunji looks poised to enter the Indian 4x400M relay team for the World Championships in athletics after coming through the trials at the NIS track here on Friday.

Ashwini, who is back after a two-year ban for doping, finished second in the one-lap race, clocking 54.7 seconds.

Nirmala, who is assured of a berth in the Indian team having been part of the gold-winning Asian Championships quartet, ran to set the pace and went on to win in 54.6 seconds.

Anilda Thomas and Ashwini was tied at the finish and was credited with the same time of 54.7.

Priyanka and Sarita were the other athletes who took part in the trials. Sarita was fourth in 55.8 secs, while Priyanka came fifth clocking 56.2. The Athletics Federation of India secretary C K Valson had earlier said that all the four members of the Asian Championships team would be retained with trials being held to pick two other runners who will then form the six-member team. As such, Ashwini and Anilda should make the cut, joining Nirmala, Tintu Luka, Anu Mariam Jose and M R Poovamma.

But the final picture will emerge only on Saturday when the selection committee meets to name the Indian team for the Moscow Worlds. AFI had attempted to bring Ashwini in the team at Pune itself but the Asian Athletic Association’s technical delegates had rejected the move.

Ashwini had won a gold each in women’s 400M hurdles and 4x400M relay in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou before she was caught for doping the following year. Her two-year ban period ended on July 3.

Comments (+)