Budapest (Hungary): The Indian men’s 4x400m relay team caused a sensation at the World Athletics Championships here finishing second behind the United States in the semifinal heat, setting the Asian Record and qualifying for the final.
As the contestants went into the final leg of the first semifinal in the men’s 4x400m relay race on Saturday, there was a buzz in the stadium as India went neck-and-neck with the USA for the finish line.
Though the USA team of Trevor Bassitt, Matthew Boling, Christopher Bailey and Justin Robinson eventually pulled ahead to win the heat in 2:58.47, India held on to second in an Asian Record of 2:59.05.
The Indian quartet of Muhammad Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Muhammad Ajmal Variathodi and Rajes Ramesh came up with a superb race to set a new Asian record, dipping below 3 minutes. The Indian team improved on the previous mark of 2:29.51 set by Japan in last year’s World Championship in Eugene, USA.
On Saturday, India was followed by Great Britain and Botswana, both clocking 2:59.42. Britain grabbed the third automatic qualifying spot, while Botswana advanced on time.
Jamaica won the second semifinal in 2:59.82 — and they’ll have individual champion Antonio Watson to bring in for the final.
France took second place from Italy and the Netherlands, all of them making it through to the final.
But the focus on Saturday was on the Indian team as it was placed second overall, with a timing faster than sprint powerhouse Jamaica.