India’s 4x400m mixed relay team finished seventh as the event took centre stage for the first time at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
The quartet of Muhammed Anas, VK Vismaya, Jisna Mathew and Noha Nirmal Tom clocked 3:15.77, their season’s best, to finish just ahead of Brazil who ended up crossing the line last.
Lost in transition
After surprising many with their performance in the heats on Saturday which saw them clock 3:16.14 to finish third and gain direct entry into the final, the Indian team was once again off to a fine start in the final.
Running the lead leg from lane 8, Anas - the national record holder in 400m - gave his best to keep the side in the hunt.
But, at the handover to Vismaya, Poland’s Rafał Omelko and the USA’s Allyson Felix began to accelerate away.
The baton exchange between Vismaya and Jisna was not as smooth as it could have been, leaving Nirmal Tom an uphill task on the final leg.
The Indian sprinter did well to move past the Brazilian team and into seventh - with the Indian outfit claiming a season best time as well.
A credible performance from the team, who have also automatically qualified for next year's Olympics in Tokyo by virtue of reaching the final in Doha.
Americans cruise through
The race was won in style by the US team, being crowned world champions in a new world record time.
The team comprising of Wilbert London, Felix, Courtney Okolo and Michael Cherry clocked 3:09.34 to take the gold. The win also helped Felix win her 12th gold medal at the World Championships, the most by any athlete.
It will be a busy Monday for the Indian contingent with three of their athletes in action in the qualification rounds of their respective competitions.
First up, the national record holder in javelin Anu Rani will take the field for the women’s javelin throw (19:00 IST).
The Indian has been slotted in Group A along with reigning Olympic champion Sara Kolak of Croatia, silver medallist at the European Championships Nikola Ogrodnikova of the Czech Republic and Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber, who has a season-best throw of 67.70 metres.
The day will also see the heats for the 200m (19:35 IST) with
Archana Suseendran being the Indian representation at the event. The Indian is clubbed in heat 2 with Great Britain’s Jodie Williams, Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland and Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova-Collio.