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Commonwealth Games 2018: Indian women’s relay team’s hopes run into trouble

A six-member squad with two standbys are selected for relays. India had picked only five athletes and with Jauna Murmu pulling out due to injury and replacement Vijayakumari not getting entry into Commonwealth Games 2018

other sports Updated: Mar 31, 2018 23:43 IST
Navneet Singh
The Indian women’s relay team is still awaiting clarity over its participation in Commonwealth Games 2018.
The Indian women’s relay team is still awaiting clarity over its participation in Commonwealth Games 2018.(Reuters file photo - image only for representative purposes)

The Indian women’s 4x400m relay team’s hopes at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games rest on a wing and a prayer. With the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) declining to give quartermiler Vijayakumari G accreditation that doubles up as visa because her entry was sent late by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), there is no standby if one of the four runners are injured.

A six-member squad with two standbys are selected for relays. India had picked only five athletes and with Jauna Murmu pulling out due to injury and replacement Vijayakumari not getting entry, the relay team doesn’t have any injury cover.

Vijayakumari could have made the difference as she is the second fastest quarter-miler in the country, behind national champion Hima Das. While teenager Hima clocked 51.97 secs to win the 400m at the Federation Cup in Patiala early in March, Vijayakumari timed 53.03 for silver.

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The other three runners — MR Poovamma, Sonia Baishya and Saritaben Gayakwad — had finished in that order behind Vijayakumari.

Commonwealth Games Federation CEO David Grevemberg wrote to IOA saying the CGF was unable to process its request as it was past the deadline for accepting entries. “Due process has been followed by CGF in respect to implementation of deadline,” he wrote. The deadline for sending entries was March 7.

The relay team had claimed gold in 2010 CWG, but was disqualified in the 2014 Glasgow edition.

Besides Vijayakumari, Haryana high jumper Siddharth Yadav will also miss the Games despite achieving the qualifying mark of 2.25m at the Federation Cup as his entry was sent past the deadline. “I will miss a good opportunity. I had been training hard without a coach and had achieved good results. It’s disappointing,” he said.