The Indian men’s 4x400m relay team comprising of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Noah Nirmal Tom, Arokia Rajiv and Amoj Jacob created a new Asian Record on Friday but missed out on a place in the Tokyo Olympics final by a whisker.

The team clocked an area best 3:00.25, by extension a new National Record, anchored brilliantly Amoj Jacob. They finished fourth in Heat 2 (top three qualify automatically) with ninth best overall timing in the two heats combined. The first heat was faster overall and the two qualifiers by time went from there. India the fastest team not to qualify.

In the breakdown of their times, two Indians clocked sub-45 timings in their legs. For context, India’s national record in 400m is 45.21s.

India's 4x400m legs

Name Result Rank Leg Time Leg Rank
YAHIYA Muhammed Anas 45.67 5 45.67 5
TOM Noah Nirmal 1:30.73 6 45.06 6
RAJIV Arokia 2:15.57 4 44.84 2
JACOB Amoj 3:00.25 4 44.68 4

Asian Records in men 4x400m relay

Mark Competitor Venue Date
3:00.25 India Olympic Stadium, Tokyo (JPN) 06 AUG 2021
3:00.56 Qatar Jakarta (INA) 30 AUG 2018
Current record and previous record

National record holder Yahiya understandably clocked the slowest (45.60) time as he had to run the longest distance after starting the race in lane number 2, reported PTI.

Yahiya said he’s happy that the team broke the Asian record but gutted to miss the final.

“Really happy with the team’’s performance and the new records but gutted to have not make it to the finals. Thank you everyone for your wishes and messages,” he tweeted.

Earlier in June, India had enhanced its chances of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo a 3:01.89 effort that would lift it from 16th on the World Athletics Road to Olympic Games ranking to 13th in the 60th National Inter-State Athletics Championships at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports in Patiala.

Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv and Noah Nirmal Tom took the track with the singular aim of improving its time from 3:02.61 in the Indian Grand Prix 4 and they could heave a sigh of relief after the squad attained that goal with a determined effort against the clock. It was enough to confirm their qualification for the Games.

An Indian team had clocked 3:02.59 in Turkey on July 25, 2019, but that time had left it in the 16th place. With the Olympic qualification window closing on June 29, the squad had to come up with its fastest effort since July 10, 2016 when Kunju Muhammed, Muhammad Anas, Ayyasamy Dhrun and Arokia Rajiv clocked 3:00.91 in Bengaluru – the previous best by an Indian team.

(With AFI inputs)