New Delhi: The Indian women’s 4x100 metres relay team led by 100 metres national record holder Dutee Chand left here on Tuesday in the wee hours to participate in two back-to-back Olympics qualification events — the IAAF World Challenge in Beijing and the Taiwan Open Athletics Championships in Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei.
The women’s 4x100m relay team will have on their radar the magic mark of 43.71 seconds (the last qualifying time at the moment) as they seek to seal an Olympics berth first in the Beijing competition scheduled on May 18 and then fly to Taipei to compete in the Taiwan Open Athletics Championships to be held from May 19 to 20.
The 4x100m women’s relay team comprises Dutee, Srabani Nanda, Jyothi Hiriyur Manjunath, Merlin Kurian Joseph, Sini Sahadevan and Himashree Roy.
Meanwhile, another group of athletes, including 2016 Asian Indoor Championships bronze medalist in shotput Omprakash Karhana (Olympics qualification mark: 20.50m), long-jumper Ankit Sharma (Olympics qualification mark: 8.15m), promising thrower Arjun, who will be competing in shotput after switching over from discus, and other Rio hopefuls left here directly for Taoyuan City, Taipei.
According to the IAAF, a relay team can qualify in two ways — finish among the first eight teams at the IAAF World Relay Championships that were held in the Bahamas in 2015, or be invited by the IAAF as the best-ranked teams to fill the remaining quota places by event according to IAAF World Ranking list as of July 2016 based, on the aggregate of two fastest times achieved by national teams in the qualification period, January 1, 2015 to July 11, 2016. The last qualifying time at the moment is 43.71s for women’s 4x100m relay.