iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

MR Mishra (PTI), PTI
Athens, August 28, 2004
The focus of the Indian contingent here has shifted to the women's 4x400m relay squad which set a new national mark on way to become only the second quartet from the country to advance to an Olympic Games final last night. The squad provides whatever little hopes India still have of adding a second medal from these Games to shooter Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore's silver in the first week.

The relay women slipped into the final, to be held tonight, even as the entire country waited for a super effort from long jumper Anju Bobby George under the Greek sky.

Anju, a bronze medal winner in the world championship at Paris last year, not only bettered that effort of 6.71 metres by a sizeable distance in her very first jump, but also set a new national bench mark in the women's discipline.

But the 27-year-old athlete's creditable feat of lowering her own three-month-old national record by nine cm was not enough to gain a podium finish simply because the competition here was on a much higher scale.