A Tokyo Olympic qualification will be high on the Indian team’s mind as it prepares for the biennial IAAF World Relays 2019. The international field and track event will see teams from around the world compete against each other in Yokohama, Japan between 11 and 12 May.
It will be for the first time that two new events – Mixed 2x2x400m relay and Mixed Shuttle hurdles relay – will be played at the prestigious competition. Other events to feature at the World Relays include the men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m along with the mixed 4x400m.
As a result, there will now be as many as three men’s events, three women’s along with three mixed events on display on the weekend.
Here is a complete preview of IAAF World Relays 2019:
The news of Hima Das’ possible return has lightened up the country’s hopes of performing well at the mega event. The Assamese runner had been injured and, thus, out of contention of the 2019 Asian Athletics Champions, Doha.
However, despite suffering from lower back pain, it now appears that Das would most likely be performing in the women’s 4x400m relay and mixed 4x400m relay races.
It is understood that the officials of the Athletics Federation of India and coaches have a feeling that the 19-year-old will recover in time for the Relays. Winning here will be of prime importance from the qualification at the World Championships (to be held in September-October in Doha) and next year’s Olympics point of view.
The AFI has stuck to the same men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams that featured at the Asian Championships for the World Relays as well.
Nonetheless, it remains to be seen whether Hima Das is capable of making a recovery in the nick of time.
Generally speaking, India had a successful outing at the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships. PU Chithra put in a wonderful effort to clinch the women’s 1500m gold medal whereas Ajay Kumar Saroj’s men’s 1500m silver followed by Dutee Chand’s women’s 200m bronze medal were the attention grabbers. However, the 4x400m relay team’s mixed performances at the Khalifa Stadium went unnoticed.
The women’s 4x400m relay and mixed 4x400m relay teams both won silver with times of and 3:32.21 respectively. The result may have been better had Hima Das not been injured.
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However, on the whole, it can be safely said that VR Vismaya, MR Poovamma, Arokia Rajiv and Sarita ben Gayakwad are in good touch. The team has shown their potential by winning gold at the 2018 Asian Games. Much will be expected from them on Saturday.
The men’s 4x400m relay team was not as fortunate as the other two, having been disqualified under the IAAF Competitions Rule 163.2 after initially finishing second on the podium with 3:03.28.
We have lost 4x400m Men's relay silver medal as a result of protest from team #China; #India's counter-appeal rejected by Jury. Final medal count for India at #AAC2019 #Doha– 3G, 7S, 7B Total= 17 medals.@kaypeem @StanByMe28 @navneetsport @PTI_News @nitinarya99 @BhutaniRahul
— Athletics Federation of India (@afiindia) April 24, 2019
It came to light that Muhammed Anas Yahiya impeded China’s Lei Yang on the third leg, resulting in the disqualification. Like women’s team and Das, the Men’s team also missed Dharun Ayyasamy dearly in their conquest for a medal.
Nonetheless, the team will be looking to better their performances with the Olympic Qualification place on offer.
IAAF WORLD RELAYS 2019 Schedule
Saturday 11 May
18:38 Mixed shuttle hurdles relay heats
19:10 Women’s 4x400m heats
19:35 Men’s 4x400m heats
20:13 Women’s 4x100m heats
20:40 Mixed 2x2x400m final
21:05 Men’s 4x100m heats
21:30 Mixed 4x400m heats
21:55 Mixed shuttle hurdles relay final
Sunday 12 May
18:10 Women’s 4x200m heats
18:31 Men’s 4x200m heats
18:52 Women’s 4x400m B final
19:05 Men’s 4x400m B final
19:21 Women’s 4x400m final
19:37 Men’s 4x400m final
19:53 Mixed 4x400m final
20:09 Women’s 4x200m final
20:23 Men’s 4x200m final
20:37 Women’s 4x100m final
20:52 Men’s 4x100m final
(The schedule mentioned above is according to Japan Standard Time (JST), which is 3.5 hours ahead of the Indian Standard Time (IST)).