AFI hopes for good show in mixed 4x400m relay sans Hima; Anas not in individual 400m
New Delhi: India's 4x400m mixed relay team can reach the final of the Doha World Championships despite the absence of top quarter-miler Hima Das, deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair said on Thursday.
World junior champion Hima was on Wednesday ruled out of the showpiece event beginning on September 27 due to her persistent back injury in a setback to the Indian team which was putting a lot of hope in the newly introduced mixed 4x400m relay event.
"Not much difference (with the ruling out of Hima). We have to stay positive and still believe that we can reach the finals in mixed 4x400m relay," Nair said.
The top eight finishers in the relay events of the World Championships will automatically qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
India qualified in the World Championships as the 14th ranked team in the mixed 4x400m relay based on its Asian Games gold winning time of 3:15.71.
Bahrain team was the original winner but it was stripped of the top spot as one its runners was caught for doping.
Muhammed Anas, Arokia Rajiv, M R Poovamma and Hima Das ran that race in Jakarta.
In Doha, however, neither Hima will be there nor Rajiv, who is also laid low with an injury.
Jisna Mathew, Poovamma and VK Vismaya were named along with Jacob Amoj, Anas and Noah Tom Nirmal for the 4x400m mixed relay.
Meanwhile in another development, Anas will not run in the individual 400m race as the Athletics Federation of India did not enter his name for the event despite crossing the qualifying mark. He has been entered only for the men's 4x400m relay and mixed 4x400m relay.
The world athletics governing body IAAF on Thursday released the provisional entry list of the athletes, country-wise as well as event-wise, and Anas' name was there only in the men's 4x400m and mixed 4x400m relay, and not in the individual 400m race.
"We have not entered Anas for individual 400m as we thought he can help the country better in the men's 4x400m relay and mixed 4x400m relay. We have good chance to do well in the relays, especially in the mixed 4x400m relay," an AFI source told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
Anas, however, said that he did not know that he will not be running in the individual 400m race.
"I did not know about that (not running individual 400m). I will have to check with AFI or coaches," Anas said from his training base in Europe. Anas had crossed the World Championships qualifying mark of 45.30 at the Kladno international meet in the Czech Republic on July 13 by clocking 45.21, while also bettering his own earlier national record (45.24) in the process.