India’s 4x400m women’s relay team clocked a season-best time to finish sixth in the heats of the ongoing 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
The Indian quartet of Jisna Mathew, MR Poovamma, VK Vismaya and V Subha clocked three minutes and 29.42 seconds to cross the line just ahead of France at the Khalifa Stadium on Saturday.
As the lead runner, Mathew gave India a fine start as she stayed in the mix for the most part of her leg. Though the 20-year-old lost some steam on the final bend, she pushed herself to the line to ensure that Poovamma had some chance to challenge the leaders.
Not much changed in the second leg as Poovamma couldn’t build on the start. The third leg, however, saw Vismaya - who ran a splendid lap in the 4x400m mixed relay heats a few days ago - bring her ‘A’ game to the fore once again as she tried to close the gap on Australia’s Ellie Beer.
However, with Subha unable to cut down the difference by a considerable distance, the Indians had to be content with a sixth spot in the heats with Jamaica clocking a world-leading time of 3:23.64 to win the race.
Meanwhile, the Indian men’s team did not have a fruitful outing finishing seventh in their 4x400m relay heats. The team comprising of Amoj Jacob, Muhammed Anas, KS Jeevan and Noah Nirmal Tom stopped the clock at three minutes and 03.09 seconds.
Tagging behind Akeem Bloomfield of Jamaica, Jacob gave the side a splendid start but neither Anas nor Jeevan could follow suit leaving Nirmal Tom with a mountain to climb in the anchor leg.
The Jamaicans took the race with a season-best time of 3:00.76.
The ones to watch out for though on the final day will be the USA - the only team to go below the three-minute mark in the heats.
They clocked 2:59.89 despite fumbling a baton exchange.
Shivpal bows out
Earlier, javelin thrower Shivpal Singh ended his World Championships campaign after a below-par show in the qualifying round.
Slotted in Group A alongside the defending champion Johannes Vetter (Germany) and silver medallist from the last edition Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic, Singh was up against a competitive field.
And the pressure seemed to get to him as Singh found it difficult to cover a sizeable distance with his opening throw. His first attempt measured at 75.91 metres, the second at 78.97 metres while the third was a foul.
However, with none of the distances being close to the automatic qualification mark of 84 metres, Singh’s campaign came to a premature end at the Championships.