Indian women enter 4x400m relay final

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> The Indian women's relay team has entered the final of the 4x400m race at the Olympic Games in Athens.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:09 IST
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The Indian women's relay team tonight entered the final of the 4x400m race at the Olympic Games in Athens. The Indian quartet comprising Rajwinder Kaur, K M Beenamol, Chitra K Soman and anchor Manjit Kaur clocked a new national record time of 3 minute, 26.89 seconds. They surpassed the previous mark of 3:27.35 set in the Asian Grand Prix Meet in Colombo in June this year. India finished third behind favourites USA (3:23.79) and hosts Greece (3:26.70) to qualify for the finals, which will be held tomorrow. Manjit Kaur ran a scorching last leg after taking the baton in fifth place from third runner Chitra to anchor India to the third spot and an automatic entry into the title round. This was only the second time that India made it to the final of relay after the P T Usha anchored squad achieved the feat in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. India were given a flying start by Rajwinder who came from behind to hand over the baton to Beenamol in second place. Beenamol managed to maintain the pace and passed the baton to Chitra who ran a poor third leg as India slipped to fifth place going into the last lap. But the national record holder in 400m, Manjit made up for Chitra's sluggish race as she powered past her rivals from Europe one by one to put India into the final. (PTI)