Relay teams add insult to injury

Relay teams add insult to injury

Relay teams add insult to injury

Ad­d­ing insult to India’s injuries in track and field, the men’s 4x400 relay team was disqualified for an exchange zone violation while the women failed to cross the first hurdle on Friday.

The men’s quartet had clo­c­ked jaw-dropping timings back home while the women too we­re in impressive form as they booked their spots at the Oly­mpics. But they toed the same line as their team-mates here.

The men’s team, comprising P Kunhumohammed, Mohd Anas, A Dharun and Arokia Rajiv clocked 3:02.24 to finish seventh in the second heat. But minutes later, they found a DQ (disqualified) against their name on the scoreboard.

The second changeover between Anas and Dharun nailed the Indians, with Dharun taking the baton before the exchange zone. The top three in each of the two semifinals and the next two fastest made the final grade.

The Indians were never in the picture, and the real worth of the 3:00.91 national record they clocked back home should come under question now.

For the statistically inclined, Kunhumohammed timed 45.9 seconds, Anas 45.1, Dharun 46.55 and Arokia Rajiv 44.66 in the Indian no-show.

The women’s quartet comprising Nirmala Sheoran, Tintu Luka, M R Poovamma and Anilda Thomas was only marginally better, as they clocked 3:29.53 to finish seventh in their heat. Overall, they were placed 13th among 16 teams.

Nirmala’s first lap (53.2 seconds) set the Indians back as was in last position when she handed the baton to Tintu.

A game effort from then on was only good enough to improve their position by a slot as they finished ahead of Cuba. The split times showed Tintu at 52.2, Poovamma 52.24 and Anilda 51.78.

The Indians had a season’s best of 3:27.88 coming into the Games.

Meanwhile, in the women’s 20km walk, Khushbir Kaur, who has a personal best of 1:31:40, was a poor 54th in 1:40:33 while the other Indian, Sapna Punia, did not even finish the race.

A miserable championship will end on Sunday with three Indians —  Nitendra Singh Rawat, T Gopi, Kheta Ram — set to compete in men’s mar­athon.

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