Dutee Chand-led Indian relay team eyes Rio berth

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) Led by Dutee Chand, the National 100 metres record holder, an Indian women’s 4×100 metres relay team left on Tuesday for two back-to-back Olympics qualification events, the IAAF World Challenge in Beijing and the Taiwan Open in Taoyuan City, Taipei.

The team will have on its radar the magic mark of 43.71 seconds (the last qualifying time at the moment) as they seek to seal an Olympics berth first in the Beijing competition scheduled on May 18 and then fly to Taipei to compete in the Taiwan Open to be held on May 19-20.

Besides Dutee, the 4x100m women’s relay team comprises Srabani Nanda, Jyothi Hiriyur Manjunath, Merlin Kurian Joseph, Sini Sahadevan and Himashree Roy.

Meanwhile, another group of athletes, including 2016 Asian Indoor Championships bronze medallist in shot put Omprakash Karhana (Olympics qualification mark: 20.50 metres), long jumper Ankit Sharma (OQ mark: 8.15m), promising thrower Arjun, who will be competing in shot put after switching over from discus, and other Rio hopefuls left here directly for Taoyuan City, Taipei.

According to the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), a relay team can qualify in two ways — finish among the top eight teams at the IAAF World Relay Championships held in Bahamas 2015 or be invited by the IAAF as the best ranked teams to fill the remaining quota places by event according to IAAF World Ranking list of July 2016 based on the aggregate of two fastest times achieved by national teams in the qualification period, January 1, 2015 to July 11, 2016.

The last average qualifying time at the moment is 43.71sec for the women’s 4x100m relay.

–IANS

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