Dutee Chand and Hima Das among top athletes seeking direct Olympic qualification during Indian Grand Prix 4

Patiala, Jun 20 Top Indian athletes such as Hima Das, Dutee Chand, Tejinderpal Singh Toor and Annu Rani would seek direct Olympics qualification when they compete at the Indian Grand Prix series 4, here on Monday.

The women’s 4x100m relay team, which will include Hima and Dutee, will fancy chances for a Tokyo Olympics berth by clocking less than 43.05 seconds in the one-day event.

The Maldives women’s 4x100m relay quartet has entered the competition, according to the list provided by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), and that is a good news for India as two international teams are required for qualification purposes.

The Indian team is currently at the 22nd spot in the Road to Tokyo list and will have to run below 43.05 seconds to be in top-16 to qualify for the Olympics.

Dutee has also entered in the individual women’s 100m race in which she is yet to breach the automatic qualification mark of 11.15 seconds. But, she is comfortably placed at 43rd out of 56 competitors in the Olympics with less than 10 days left for qualification deadline.

Dutee also can qualify for the 200m as she is currently in the 45th spot in the Road to Tokyo list, with 56 athletes to run in the event.

Athletes can also qualify for the Olympics on the basis of world rankings. Hima has also entered the women’s 200m event, an event which she has run rarely, but her focus would mainly be on the relay race.

Other two athletes who would be looking for Olympics cut are shot putter Toor and javelin thrower Annu Rani.

Toor has to throw beyond his national record 20.92m if he has to get a direct berth for the Olympics as the qualification mark is set at 21.10m. He is in 31st spot in the Road to Tokyo list where 32 shot putters will compete.

Annu also will have to improve upon her national record of 62.43m if she wants to breach the direct berth mark of 64m, but she is better placed than Toor at 19th spot in the Road to Tokyo list where 32 javelin throwers will compete.

National record holder Muhammad Anas has not entered in the individual 400m race as he is said to be focussing on the 4x400m relay as India is still in the qualification bracket at 15th spot in the Road to Tokyo list. Long jumper M Sreeshankar and discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur are also in the fray though they have already booked direct berth for the Olympics. Kamalpreet, however, is the lone entry in women’s discus throw event.

Veteran Seema Antil is missing from the women’s discus throw event.

Jinson Johson, the 2018 Asian Games 1,500m gold medallist, is also missing as he had contracted COVID-19 infection recently.

Meanwhile, the entry of 16 athletes have been rejected as their best marks were below the entry standard set by the AFI in their respective events. News source PTI


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