With the competition technical delegate having rejected India's request for the inclusion of Ashwini Akkunji and Priyanka Panwar in women's 4x400m relay squad, star 800m runnner Tintu Luka is set to run in the event on Sunday.
Luka today practised for relay at the training ground after the selection committee of the Athletics Federation of India decided to include her in the 4x400m relay squad to soar up the home team's chances for a gold medal.
One of the AFI selection committee member also confirm the decision.
"The federation, selection committee and the coaches have decided to include Luka in the squad as we want to win a gold in the event," women's 4x400m relay coach N Ramesh told PTI.
"We now have two options with us. Option A is Nirmala will be the first runner and Luka will be at the first change of baton. Anu Mariam Jose will follow and be M R Poovamma will run the anchor leg of the race," he said.
The second option according to Ramesh is Anilda Thomas, Nirmala, Anu Mariam Jose and M R Poovamma running in that order. This will be in case Luka somehow cannot run tomorrow.
Asked if Luka would be able to run as she has her pet event of 800m final tomorrow, Ramesh said that the gap of around one hour between the two events is ideal to give a good result.
"There is one-hour gap after her 800m race and that is a very good time for an athlete to produce her best," he said.
Explaining why Luka has been drafted into the squad, Ramesh said, "The second lapper needs a lot of endurance and Luka being an 800m runner she perfectly fits the bill. The one who runs second lap will have to cover the maximum distance among her rivals -- around 410 meters.
"When she runs 800m, her first lap timing is very good. So we thought Luka is ideal for 400m relay."
In the past, 800m runner Shiny Wilson used to run 4x400m relay.
With Luka coming in, the problem of finding a good runner for the 4x400m relay has been solved.