Rio Olympics: Indian Women's 4x400m Relay Team Eye Berth in Slovakia

Updated: 02 June 2016 17:57 IST

MR Poovamma, Ashwini Akkunji, Anilda Thomas, Jauna Murmu and Debashree Majumdar will seek to earn India a berth in the women's 4x400 metres relay race at the Rio Olympics

Rio Olympics: Indian Women
The Indian women's 4X400 metres relay team will be trying their best to earn a Rio Olympics berth in Slovakia. © AFP

New Delhi:

The Indian women's 4x400m relay team, to be led by M R Poovamma, will run in the PTS Athletics Meetings at Samorin (Slovakia) on June 4 in its bid to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Besides Poovamma (personal best of 51.73sec), the other members of the team are Ashwini Akkunji (PB 52.80sec), Anilda Thomas (PB 52.40sec), Jauna Murmu (PB 52.75sec) and Debashree Majumdar (PB 53.50sec).

The five-member relay team and the support staff left for Vienna from Warsaw today after a two-hour drive from the Olympics Training Centre in Spala (Poland) where they are currently based for a training-cum-competition stint as part of preparations for the Olympics.

Later, on June 11-12, both the men and women's 4x400m relay teams are scheduled to participate in the second International Sprint and Relay at Erzurum (Turkey), Athletics Federation of India said in a release.

As per the IAAF regulations, only the top-16 teams will participate in the relay events at Rio. The finalists from last year's World Relays in Bahamas have secured automatic entry, filling up the first eight spots.

The 9-16 spots will be filled by those countries who clock the best average time (calculated from two fastest times) between January 1, 2015 and July 11, 2016.

In this assigned period, India's women relay team's fastest timings have been 3:29.08sec at the IAAF World Championships in August 2015.

Meanwhile, Jithin Paul will be participating in the men's 400m hurdles event at Samorin.

India's foreign coach Yuri Ogorodnik said from Spala, "The preparation of the women's 4x400m and men's 4x400m relay after their training in Turkey and now in Spala is going on very well, and it will be a great chance for the women's relay team to qualify for Rio Olympics 2016 in Samorin and after that in Turkey.

"In case of men's relay, their first competition is at Turkey on June 11-12, where the women's relay will also be participating. We are looking for more competitions in Europe because the men's relay team will need a minimum of three-four competition to qualify."

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Topics mentioned in this article Athletics Olympics 2016
Highlights
  • The Indian team will race in Samorin in Slovakia
  • The event is called PTS Athletics Meetings
  • MR Poovamma and Ashwini Akkunji are the key members of the team
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