Rio Olympics 2016: Muhammad Anas makes 400m cut, becomes 100th Indian to qualify
It has turned out to be a historic day for Indian Sports. Kerala sprinter Muhammad Anas has just clocked a sensational 45.40 seconds in Men’s 400 metres sprint and in the process made himself the 100th Olympian from India to earn a place in Rio 2016.
The 21-year-old Anas who smashed the national record of 45.47 seconds previously held by Arokia Rajiv when he finished at 45.44 seconds on Friday was still a good 4 hundredths of a second short of the Rio Olympic qualification mark of 45.40. As it turned out, the beginning of the weekend brought along a markedly superior result that turned out to be enough to finally book his 2016 Olympics ticket.
Incidentally, Muhammad found himself at the receiving end of a disastrous lapse on the authorities’ part at the end of the first Indian Grand Prix Athletics at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the last week of April when a power failure contributed to the dismissal of his actual timing. Since then, he has had to wait for this moment that has finally arrived in the city of Bydgoszcz in Northern Poland.
This comes hot on the heels of Dutee Chand’s qualification for the Summer Games as well. Chand will participate in the 100m sprint, becoming the first sprinter to qualify for the Olympics in 36 years from India.
The significance of his feat is immense. From a country of 1.2 billion people, there never has been an Olympic contingent with a strength of three figures till date. Having surpassed the qualification hurdles in numbers greater than ever, it is now time to set our sights at a medal tally of 10+ which, from the looks of it, is fast becoming all the more realistic for our hardworking athletes.