The Indian men’s 4x400m relay team had been holding on precariously to the last qualifying spot for Tokyo Olympics for a long time now. On Friday, the quartet broke the three minute two second mark at the National inter-State championships, bettering the meet record and lifting itself up the rankings to be assured of an Olympic spot.

Anchored by Noah Nirmal Tom and comprising Mohd. Anas Yahiya, Arokia Rajiv and Amoj Jacob, the team clocked 3:01.89 in the heats, a timing which is likely to lift it to 13th place on the Road to Tokyo.

Pulling away

Running in an almost empty stadium at the National Institute of Sports under floodlights, with part of the track in darkness, the competition was all but over when Jacob pulled away in the second leg before Tom accelerated in the last few metres. They now have a chance to further improve in the final.

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