Road to Rio: Back after 16 years, Indian men's 4x400m relay team is brimming with confidence
With a world rank of 13, a medal looks beyond the men's 4x400m relay team. But they will be looking to go past the past the first round and become only the second Indian team to do so.
Name: Men's 4x400m relay team
Team Members: Kunhu Muhammed, Muhammed Anas, Ayyasamy Dharun and Arokia Rajiv
Discipline (sport): Athletics
Category: Men's 4x400m relay
Qualification: The men's 4x400m relay quartet smashed the national record by finishing the race with a timing of 3:00.91 secs at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru to qualify for the Rio Olympics
Strengths: The men's 4x400m relay team has gone from strength to strength and seem to have a measure of their growth path. The team knows exactly what they require to better their timing and have produced results when it matters the most
Past Olympic performance: This Indian men's relay will just be third ever men's team to qualify for the Olympics in country's history. India previously had a men's relay team in the Olympics at the 2000 Sydney Games and 1964 Games in Tokyo
Past record (Recent Form): The Indian Men's 4x400m relay team goes into Rio Olympics on the back of smashing the national record. Previously the team had clocked a timing of 3:02.17s set in Erzurum, Turkey in June.
Rio Prospects: With a world rank of 13, a medal looks distant prospect. But the team will be looking to go past the first round and become only the second Indian team to do so.
Indian men created history when they booked a berth in the 4x400m event at Rio Olympics 2016 and become the first Indian team to qualify for the Games after a gap of sixteen years. The men's team was ranked 17th before the final qualifying event in Bengaluru and needed to be among the top 16-ranked teams to qualify for Rio Olympics. But thanks to a national record-breaking performance, the relay team managed to make up an average time of 3:01.54s and qualify for Rio with a rank of 13.
Muhammed Anas one of the members of the relay team has also qualified for the 400m event at Rio. He smashed the national record of 45.47 seconds previously held by Arokia Rajiv - another member of the relay team - when he finished at 45.44 seconds. The Kerala born-athlete had suffered due to a power failure at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium as his timing wasn't recorded, but Anas has now managed to qualify for both individual and relay event. Anas is a part of the Indian Navy.
While Anas is from Navy, the other two members of the team - Arokia Rajiv and Asian bronze medalist Kunhu Muhammed - are from the army and are products of the Pune-based Army Sports Institute (ASI)
The fourth athlete Ayyasamy Dharun, who works for the Income Tax department recently won a gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games in the 400m event.
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