Updated May 3rd, 2024 at 18:50 IST

After strong 2023, Indian athletes hope to make impact in World Relays

The Olympic lane seeding positions will be decided in the finals on Sunday and those will also be competing for medals.

Indian athletes | Image:X@Media_SAI
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Nassau (Bahamas), May 3 (PTI) A 15-member strong Indian athletics contingent will look to make an impact in scenic Nassau and hope to qualify for the Paris Olympics in three events when the the two-day World Athletics Relays Bahamas 24 commences here on Saturday.

The Indian men's 4x400 relay team has been making waves of late, coming up with impressive performances at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo and following it up by challenging the USA's aura of invincibility at the World Championships in Budapest last August.

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The team then lived up to the billing by clinching gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games with a tremendous run of 3:01.58.

On a high following those superb performances last year, India would be hoping to reset the national and Asian record of 2:59.05 seconds set by the quartet of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Muhammed Ajmal and Rajesh Ramesh in Budapest.

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The quartet will, however, have to work really hard to achieve that feat, given that its best this season is only 3:05.71 seconds, which is nearly four seconds adrift of the their gold medal-winning performance in Hangzhou.

As per the World Relay format for Paris, the two top teams in each heat on Saturday will advance to the final a day later. They will also secure Paris 2024 Olympic quotas in the process.

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The Olympic lane seeding positions will be decided in the finals on Sunday and those will also be competing for medals.

All the other teams will compete in an additional round on Sunday where the top-two teams in each heat will also qualify for Paris.

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India will be fielding teams in men's, women's and mixed 4x400m, with the men's quartet the best placed to qualify for Paris based on their performances last year.

India has sent an eight-member men's 4x400m relay team here, including the Asian Games gold-medallist quartet of Amoj Jacob, Muhammad Anas Yahiya, Muhammad Ajmal and Rajesh Ramesh.

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The squad also includes 2018 Jakarta Asian Games mixed relay gold medallist Rajiv Arokia, Noah Nirmal Tom, Yashas Palaksha and Avinash Krishna Kumar.

Amoj, Arokia Rajiv, Nirmal and Anas had also competed at the Tokyo Olympics, where they put up a commendable performance but missed out on a place in the final by a whisker on way to setting an Asian record of 3:00.25.

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India has also entered a seasoned seven-member squad for the women's 4x400m relay event, led by multiple Asian Games gold-medal winner MR Poovamma. The squad also has the Hangzhou Asian Games silver medal-winning team of Vithya Ramraj, Aishwarya Mishra, Prachi and Subha Venkatesan.

Rupal and Jyothika Sri Dandi are the other Indian members.

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India will also have high hopes in the mixed 4x400m relay event following their silver medal-winning performance at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

A total of 32 teams will be in the fray in men's 4x400m, while 27 teams are in contention in women's 4x400m. In mixed 4x400, 30 teams are in the fray.

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Team: Men's 4x400m: Amoj Jacob, Avinash Krishna Kumar, Rajiv Arokia, Rajesh Ramesh, Noah Nirmal Tom, Muhammed Ajmal Variyathodi, Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Yashas B.

Women's 4x400m: Jyothika Sri Dandi, MR Poovamma, Aishwarya Kailash Mishra, Prachi, Vithya Ramraj, Rupal, Subha Venkatesan.

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4x400 Mixed: Amoj Jacob (M), Rajesh Ramesh (M), Yashas (M), Jyothika Sri Dandi (W), Vithya Ramraj (W), Rupal (W). 

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Published May 3rd, 2024 at 18:50 IST