August 13, 2016 8:03:08 pm
India’s Lalita Babar qualified for the final of women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase at the Rio Olympics on Saturday. She qualified after finishing the race with a time of 9 minutes 19.76 seconds in Round 1 Heat 2.
Lalita, who also broke the national record in the process by seven seconds, qualified eighth and this is the first time since 1984 Los Angeles Olympics that an Indian athlete has qualified for the finals of an individual event in track category.
The Indian began the heat on a strong note and took the lead after the second lap but she fell on a hurdle and had to give away her lead. This hampered her chances to qualify for the final but she recovered to finish the race in the fouth place.
The top three from each heat qualify for the final and the next eight fastest athletes also qualify for the final. Lalita was the fastest among the losers and confirmed her qualification.
Sudha Singh was the other Indian in fray but she failed to qualify for the final after finishing the heats with a time of 9:43.26. She finished her heats in the ninth position.
In the other event in athletics, India’s Nirmala Sheoran failed to qualify for the women’s 400m final event.
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