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Indian relay team gets into qualifiers’ list

NEW DELHI: The Indian women’s 4x400m relay team has been placed 14th in the Olympic qualifiers’ list, as of July 6, by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The official confirmation about the IAAF having taken the 2008 Asian Grand Prix timings into consideration for ranking purposes was available on Tuesday when it updated the “best relay performances” list on its website.

As was expected, China follows India at 15th while Italy is placed 16th. The top 16 teams in the world will qualify for the Beijing Games relays. Relay qualification period ends on July 16. China has also got into the top-16 list in the men’s 4x100m relay with its Korat Asian GP timing of 38.81s coming in handy for the 15th place. Thailand is at 16th.

The sprint relay standings can yet see changes since a few qualification events are still left in Europe.

No major changes are expected in the longer relays, though the Indian men’s team is on the look-out for a qualification event.

The plea of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) seemed to have worked in the IAAF belatedly including the Asian Grand Prix meets in the qualification events after the series wound up at Hanoi on June 30.

It had initially refused to recognize the meets since no prior intimation was received from the AAA. — Special Correspondent

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