India’s 4*400 mixed relay team – comprising Muhammad Anas, VK Vismaya, Nirmal Noah Tom and Jisna Mathew – finished third in their heat to qualify for the final at the World Athletics Championship in Doha on Saturday.
The Indian team recorded a timing of 3:16.14 to finish third in their heat and seventh across the heats. The top eight teams in the relays were to book a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
This is the best timing registered by the Indian team for the season.
— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) September 28, 2019
The first lap was run by Anas. The second leg – which would have made Indian hearts soar – was run by Vismaya. Stunningly, Vismaya raced ahead of all others in the field and India were in the front for the most of the second lap.
There was a hiccup in the baton handover between Jisna Mathew and Nirmal Noah Tom, but Tom managed to edge into the third spot right at the end of the final lap.
The final of the mixed relay will be held on Sunday night.
After clocking 3 minutes, 16.14 seconds to finish third in 4x400m relay heats, we not only made it to finals of the @IAAFDoha2019, but also managed to book a berth @Tokyo2020 Olympics. Feeling ecstatic and I am extremely proud of my teammates efforts too. @Media_SAI @afiindia
— Muhammed Anas Yahiya (@muhammedanasyah) September 28, 2019
Indians have had disappointing campaigns in the ongoing edition of the Worlds. Earlier on Saturday, MP Jabir was eliminated in the semifinal stage of the 400m hurdles race, while Dutee Chand failed to progress from the 100m heats.
National record holder Muhammed Anas – who ran the first lap – had not been fielded in the individual 400m though he had breached the World Championships qualification mark, in order to boost the relay team’s chances of making the finals.
Injuries to key runners, including Arokia Rajiv, Saritaben Gayakwad and Hima Das — all the members of medal winnings relay squads at the Asian Games — had been a setback for India before this event.