Asian Games: Indian men's 4x400m relay team wins gold; first since 1962text_fields
Hangzhou: At the Asian Games in Hangzhou, the Indian men's 4x400 metre relay team created history by winning the gold medal for the first time since the Jakarta editions of 1962.
For the first time since the 2002 competition in Busan, India missed out on the gold in the women's 4x400m relay as the men created history.
The Indian male quartet of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Muhammed Ajmal Variyathodi and Rajesh Ramesh claimed the gold medal here on Wednesday with a timing of 3 minutes 01.58 seconds to end the race in pole position.
Qatar took the silver in 3:02.05 and Sri Lanka claimed the bronze medal in 3:03.55.
The same Indian quartet had given the Mighty United States a run for its money during the heats at the World Championship in Budapest and eventually finished fifth in the final.
On Wednesday, they came back from behind to grab an early lead and then did not let it go.
Muhammed Anas made a fast start, starting from fifth position, clocking 43.60. Though Amoj Jacob was a bit slow as his leg was clocked at 47.01, he still managed to pull India to the first rank. When Muhammed Ajmal took the baton, Qatar was snapping at the Indians' heels but he completed his leg in 45.61 seconds to maintain India's position and in the final leg, Rajesh Ramesh clocked 45.36, surging to the finish line in the first position.
This was India's first gold medal in the men's 4x400m relay since 1962 in Jakarta when Daljit Singh, Jagdish Singh, Makhan Singh and Milkha Milkha won the gold medal.
Since then India has won seven silver medals in this event, the last one coming in the 2018 edition in Jakarta.
India had won the gold medal in the inaugural Asian Games in 1951 too.
Just before the men's relay team stepped onto the track, the Indian women's 4x400m relay team gave eventual winners Bahrain a tough fight as they won silver medals in the Asian Games.
The Indian quartet of Vithya Ramraj, who won a bronze medal in 400m hurdles, Aishwarya Mishra, Prachi and Subha Venkatesan clocked 3:27.85 to finish second to Bahrain, who clocked an Asian Games record time of 3:27.65 to win the gold medal. Sri Lanka took the bronze medal in 3:30.68.
The Indians came nowhere close to the national record timing of 3:26.89 set by Rajwinder Kaur, K.M. Beenamol, Chitra K. Soman and Manjit Kaur at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
It was a disappointing performance for the country because India has won the women's 4x400m relay in five successive editions since 2002 in Busan. They were the defending champions but could not defend their title in Hangzhou.
Usually, the Indian women's 4x400 metre relay does well in the Asian Games but for once, the men upstaged them.
With inputs from IANS