Indian women 4x400m quartet qualify for Olympics

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Korat, Jun 26 (UNI) Giving a superb performance, the Indian women 4x400m relay quartet clocked 3:28.29s rpt 3:28.29s in the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix here to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games to be held in August.

The timing ensured the Indian team a place in the World's top 16 teams which will run in Beijing Olympics this August.

The Indians had finished at the seventh place in Athens Olympics in 2004 and since then team has been on a winning spree at the continental level with titles at Asian Games 2006, Asian Championships 2007 and silver in Commonwealth Games 2006.

Slowdown in timing in 2007 raised doubts over the team's performance but it was largely due to transition of runners from junior to senior level. Emergence of Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose and consistent performances from Chitra Soman brought back the team in winning gear in 2008.

National record holder Manjit Kaur who attained B qualification in Yalta got injured during Madurai Nationals but the fact is that today's race was without Manjit and still team managed to register its best timings since Athens 2004.

As per Olympic qualification rules, average of two best performances of 2007 and 2008 will be considered and with today's performance India's average is 3:30.37s (3:32.55s in Bangkok and 3:28.20s in Korat) which is better than 14th place holder Italy team.

As there is no further sanctioned meet in IAAF qualification competitions list for relay event after the third leg of the Asian Grand Prix, the Indian team will remain in the top 16.

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