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Do or die outing for Hima Das, Dutee Chand at Inter-State Nationals | More sports News – Times of India

June 25, 2021

PATIALA: All eyes will be on Asian Games medallists Dutee Chand and Hima Das as the country’s premier sprinters aim to breach the Olympic qualifying timings at the five-day National Inter-State Athletics Championships, the last qualifying event before the quadrennial event, starting in Tokyo from July 23. Given the Covid-19 situation, the 60th edition of the Nationals will be staged across two venues – the NIS and the Punjabi University here.
Graded as B category event for the World Athletics ranking, it will also provide athletes, seeking qualification based on their rankings, an opportunity to consolidate their rankings and secure an Olympic berth.
While both Dutee Chand (women’s 100m) and Hima (women’s 200m) came up within striking distance of the Olympic qualifying mark in their previous appearance at the venue during Monday’s Indian Grand Prix, the duo will hope to make the most of the final opportunity.
Dutee’s valiant effort to crack the qualifying standard of 11.15 seconds in women’s 100m, ended in a heart-breaking two-hundredths of a second away from the magic mark. Similarly, Hima fell short by a mere 0.08 seconds off the qualifying mark of 22.80 seconds.
Not to forget the promising distance runner, and local favourite Harmilan Bains, aiming for her maiden crack at the Olympics in women’s 1500m. Chasing the qualifying standard of 4:04.20, the 23-year-old could manage 4:08.27 on Monday.
Besides, the women’s 4x100m relay quartet of Dutee Chand, Hima Das, Archana Suseendran and S Dhanalakshmi will aim for a 43.05-second effort to be among the 16 teams in Tokyo. They managed to break the national record during the IGP-4 with an effort of 43.37 seconds on Monday, but are still ranked 20th in the world.
Similarly, the men’s 1600m relay squad of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv and Noah Nirmal Tom will aim to improve its time from 3:02.61 on Monday to 3:02.56 or even 3:02.50 to lift itself from the present ranking of 16 and ensure that it can spend the next few weeks preparing for the Games.
For relay events, the top 16 teams in the Road to Tokyo rankings on June 29 midnight will run in the Olympics. Teams from Sri Lanka and Maldives are also taking part in the men’s 4x400m and women’s 4x100m relay events to give it an international status and meet a stipulated rule for Olympic qualifications. Other Sri Lankans are also lining up in individual events in their last bid to earn themselves a place in the Tokyo Games. Nadeesha Ramanayake (women’s 400m) and Nimali Waliwarsha (women’s 800m) are among the prominent names from the island nation.
Men’s high jumper Tejaswin Shankar will be another athlete who would be trying to breach the Olympic qualifying mark of 2.33m. He had won a gold medal at the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in USA on May 16 with a jump of 2.28m.
The competition will also provide an opportunity to the Tokyo-bound athletes like Kamalpreet Kaur (women’s discus throw), men’s shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor, javelin thrower Shivpal Singh and long jumper M Sreeshankar access their performances ahead of the Games. Besides the 4x400m mixed relay team, as many as 11 Indian athletes have already qualified for individual events in Tokyo2020.
As many as six finals are scheduled for the opening day. The 10000m and Pole Vault will be the two events for men while the women will compete in the 5000m, 100m Hurdles, Triple Jump and Hammer Throw for medals on Friday.

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