Patiala, June 24 (IANS) The spotlight will be on the women’s 4x100m and men’s 4x400m relay squads at the five-day National Inter-State Championships starting here on Friday. This will be the last chance for athletes to make the cut for the Tokyo Olympic Games before the June 29 deadline.
The goal of the women’s 4x400m relay team, comprising Dutee Chand, Hima Das, Archana Suseendran, and S Dhanalakshmi, is to clock 43.05 seconds to win a smooth passage for the Olympics.
Only top 16 world ranking teams in the women’s 4x100m will be eligible to compete at the Olympics starting on July 23. India’s current world ranking is 20.
On Monday, the national team had clocked 43.37 seconds at the Indian Grand Prix IV held in Patiala which was a national record. The previous best was 43.42 secs.
The men’s 4x400m relay too has a challenging task to improve their ranking and win a ticket for Japan.
In the IGP IV on Monday, the national 4x400m men relay team of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv, and Noah Nirmal Tom had clocked 3 minutes 02.61 seconds. But they need to run faster in the Inter-State Athletics Championships to stay on course for the Olympics.
To ensure smooth passage for the Olympics, Indian team should clock below 3 minutes 02.50 seconds. India’s current ranking is 16.
On the opening day of the competition, as many as six finals are scheduled, including women’s 5000m.
Due to the Covid pandemic the competition is being organised at two venues — Punjab University and National Institute of Sports campus.