Ashwini Akkunji, on a comeback trial after the completion of a two-year ban for doping, could only finish second to Nirmala Shearon in the trials in Patiala on Friday, prior to Saturday’s selection committee meeting of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to finalise the Indian team for the World championships in Moscow from August 10 to 18.

India which met the qualifying standard of 3:33.00 in the women’s 4x400m relay through its gold medal winning effort of 3:32.26 at the recent 20th Asian athletics championships in Pune can field up to six runners for the Moscow event and this would mean Ashwini still has a chance of making it to the team along with M.R. Poovamma, Anu Jose Mariam, Tintu Luka, Nirmala and Anilda Thomas.

Nirmala finished the trials with a hand-timed 54.6s against 54.7s clocked by both Ashwini and Anilda who finished behind the Haryana runner in that order.

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