Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.
India’s men and women failed to qualify for the 4x400m final of the Rio Olympic Games with disappointing performances in their respective heats. While the women’s team finished 13th overall, the men’s team were disqualified after finishing seventh in their heat.
Qualification criteria: Top three teams from each heat qualify for the final followed by the next two fastest times from both heats.
It was USA and Jamaica who dominated the women’s heats to qualify for the final in first and second place. And it was the Americans who set the pace in Heat 1.
India (Nirmala, Tintu Lukka, Poovamma and Anilda Thomas) competed in Heat 2 and had to contend with the likes of Jamaica, Great Britain and Canada – strong teams who did not put a foot wrong in the heats. The Indians started poorly in Lane 1 and never looked like catching up, eventually finishing seventh with a time of 3:29.53.
Jamaica took the lead in the first leg itself with Christine Day putting daylight between her and the rest of the teams. After the first exchange, there was no looking back. Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, Chrisann Gordon and Novlene Williams-Mills got the job done and the massive lead on the final stretch was only reduced by a couple of seconds after Jamaica slowed down.
Jamaica’s time of 3:22.38 was good enough for first place in the heat while Great Britain finished second and Canada third.