India favourite to win 4x400m relay at Asian Athletics Championships
The Indian men’s 4x400 metres relay team has progressed to the final of the Asian Athletics Championships being held in Bhubaneswar.other sports Updated: Jul 09, 2017 13:39 IST
Hosts India have been assured of at least two more gold medals in the Asian Athletics Championships as both men and women’s 4x400 metres relay teams have made it to the final, scheduled for evening. The four-day competition concludes on Sunday here at the Kalinga Stadium.
In the heats, Rajiv Arokia anchored the national team to the final round. However, in the women’s group only five nations, including India, reported for the heats. Therefore it will be direct final.
India’s quarter milers have given a good account of themselves in the individual events, showing their depth in the absence of other teams participating here in the continental meet, which gives the home team a big advantage over others in the final.
Rajiv Arokia, who won a silver in the 400m race, exuded confidence of adding another gold to the team’s tally.
“We have a strong team. We just have to sustain our efforts in the final,” he said after the heats.
Besides relay, there is also a possibility of winning gold in heptathlon as Swapna Barman is leading a field of eight athletes after six events with 5066 points. The last event, 800m, will be held in the evening.
Trailing in second place is Japanese Meg Hemphill who has 5005 points in her kitty. Indians Purnima Hembram and Liksy Joseph are third and fourth, respectively.
There are as many as 11 finals, including men’s javelin throw, scheduled for the evening.
Indian team management is hoping to win 10 more medals. If all goes on the expected lines, the home team will have a rich haul of more than 25 medals which will be a better than their previous best tally of 21 won in the 2000 edition at Jakarata, Indonesia.