India’s 4x400m men’s relay team put up a commendable show but missed out on a place in the final of the Tokyo Olympics by a whisker on Friday.
Competing in the second heat that had heavyweights Jamaica and Poland, the Indian quartet of
India set a new Asian record, breaking the previous best of 3:00.56 set by Qatar at the 2018 Asian Games.
Poland won the race in 2:58.55 while Jamaica was second in 2:59.29. Belgium came in third with a timing of 2:59.37.
Eight teams -- top three from the two heats and the two best finishers from the rest across the races -- qualify for the final. India’s performance placed them ninth in the overall standings.
Five teams from the first heat run earlier in the day had already dipped below the three-minute mark, which made it challenging for the remaining eight teams in the second heat.
The second heat started with Dariusz Kowaluk of Poland and Jamaica's Demish Gaye setting the early pace. India’s Muhammed Anas, running on the inside lane, did well to eke ahead of the runners from South Africa and Colombia.
Noah Nirmal Tom then handed over the race to the experienced Arokia Rajiv with India placed fifth at the time.
The gap, however, proved to be a bit too much for India’s anchor runner Amoj Jacob, who despite his best efforts fell short of making the final.