The women’s 4×400 metres relay team runs the risk of missing the Tokyo Olympics as it is too close to the elimination zone.
Only the top 16 teams — as on the July 1 qualification deadline — are eligible to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, according to World Athletics. The Indian relay team’s ranking is 15.
“The Indian team last participated in the 2019 World Athletics Championships where they clocked 3 minutes 29.42 seconds. However, by skipping the World Relays in Poland on May 1 and 2, the national squad missed a good chance to improve its global ranking to stay out of the elimination zone,” a national team coach told IANS.
The top eight teams in the World Relays in Poland got automatic berths to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. Cuba won gold in the women’s 4x400m relay with a time of 3 minutes 28.41 seconds.
Poland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium and France are the seven other teams who got tickets to Japan.
The top eight teams from the Doha 2019 World Championships also got direct entry to the Olympics. If there are teams that finished among top eight in both Poland and Doha, World Athletics will allocate quota to the team next in the rankings.
“We have to participate in one or two relay competitions in May or June to stay within the top 16. Otherwise, we will be out of Olympics,” the athletics coach added.
The current world ranking of the men’s 4x400m relay team is 14. This is based on the performance of 3 minutes 02.59 seconds the Indian team clocked in July 2019 in Turkey.
The national women’s 4x100m relay team’s current world ranking is 22.
The national mixed 4x400m relay team has got direct entry for Tokyo Olympics by virtue of being in top eight at the 2019 Doha World Championships.