Rio de Janeiro: Indian athletics contingent rounded off their dismal show in the Rio Olympics with a below-par effort from the 4x400m relay quartets, which saw them crash out of their respective heats here on Saturday.
The women’s team finished seventh in their Heats even as the men’s team faced embarrassment of being disqualified. Women’s team consisting of Nirmala Sheoran, Tintu LukKa, M R Poovamma and Anilda Thomas clocked 3:29:33 to finish just above Cuba in Heat 2 in a field of eight teams. Men’s team comprising Muhammed Kunju, Muhammed Anas, Ayyasamy Dharun and Rajiv Arokia clocked 3:02.24 but was disqualified for wrongful change of baton during the anchor leg between Dharun and Rajiv.
Overall, the Indian eves were placed at 13th position among 16 teams in two Heats. In the women’s event, Nirmala started the race for the India women’s team and from the very first lap lagged behind. Tintu Luka, who took the baton from Nirmala, also failed to improve the timing, leaving little chance for Poovamma and Anilda to make up for the lost time.
In the end, India finished second last among Jamaica, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Germany, Bahamas and Cuba. Jamaica, Great Britain and Canada emerged as the top three teams from Heat 2. The first three teams in each Heat (1 & 2), plus the next two fastest teams overall from two heats have moved on to the final.
USA (from Heat 1) qualified as the top team for the final with a time of 3:21.42, while Jamaica (from Heat 2) finished second after clocking 3:22.38 and Ukraine (from Heat 1) were third with 3:24.54.