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Four Indian athletes qualify for Rio 2016 Olympics

Sunday saw four Indians, archer Atanu Das, quarter-miler Mohammad Anas, long jumper Ankit Singh and 200m sprinter Srabani Nanda, qualify for Rio

Bangalore: The Archery Association of India (AAI) yesterday selected Atanu Das to represent the country in the men's recurve event at the Rio Olympics after conducting trials here.

Atanu Das during the recurve bronze final at the Archery World Cup in Turkey recently. Pic/Getty Images
Atanu Das during the recurve bronze final at the Archery World Cup in Turkey recently. Pic/Getty Images

Das will be the only Indian representative in the men's category at the Rio Games, to be held in August. It will be Das's first Olympics.

During the trial, the 24-year-old Kolkata lad edged out the experienced former Olympian duo of Jayanta Talukdar and Mangal Singh Champia to qualify for his maiden Olympic Games.

Srabani Nanda
Srabani Nanda

Having made the World Cup stage three semis at the Antalya, Das (653) had a bonus points of 1.5 and he qualified behind Talukdar (659) and Champia (649).

Later in the knockout rounds he defeated both Talukdar and out-of-form Champia.

Mohammad Anas
Mohammad Anas

It was unfortunate that Champia could not make it to Rio as he had earned the quota for India by finishing among the top eight at the World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark last year.

The women's recurve team of Deepika Kumari, L Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Manjhi has already qualified for the individual as well as team event in Rio.

Ankit Singh
Ankit Singh

Das had recently won a silver with Deepika Kumari in the mixed category at the Archery World Cup in Antalya. He had also finished fourth in the individual recurve event at the same event.

Das had earlier bagged two team silver medals (Wroclaw and Medellin, 2014) and two mixed pair bronze medals (Medellin 2013 and 2014) in the World Cups.

Quartermiler Mohammad Anas and long jumper Ankit Singh booked their Olympic tickets with national record shattering efforts while 200m specialist Srabani Nanda also qualified for Rio in various competitions abroad on a memorable day for Indian track and field yesterday.

Nanda clocks 23.07 secs
24-year-old Odisha athlete Srabani, who won gold in women's 200m race in the South Asian Games and Federation Cup earlier this year, clocked 23.07secs at the 26th G Kosanov Memorial Meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan yesterday to realise her Rio Olympics dreams.

The qualifying mark for the Olympics in women's 200m is 23.20secs.23-year-old Ankit also smashed the existing national record with his best effort of 8.19m in men's long jump in the same Meet in Almaty to ensure his passage to Rio Games. The earlier national record of 8.09m was in the name of Kumaravel Prem Kumar set here in August 2013. The qualification standard for the Olympics in men's long jump is 8.15 metres.

Haryana athlete Ankit had also won gold in the South Asian Games earlier this year and National Games last year.

Quartermiler Mohammad Anas qualified for the Rio Olympics by shattering the men's 400m national record on the second day of Polish Athletics Championship at Bydgoszcz. 21-year-old Anas clocked 45.40secs, the exact Rio qualification timing, to book the Olympics ticket. The Kerala athlete shattered his own national record of 45.44secs, which he set on Friday on the first day of the same competition.

With the addition of these three, the number of track and field athletes, who have qualified for Rio Olympics has swelled to 23.

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