NEW DELHI: After all the suspense about the Indian women’s 4x400-metre relay team’s qualification for the Beijing Olympics, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) came up with a stunner on Wednesday that the meets in the just-concluded Asian Grand Prix series were not qualifying events.

The Indian team does not figure in the top-20 relay qualification lists at the moment. There are no listed meets where women’s longer relay is part of the programme, from now on till July 16, the last date for relay qualification.

The shocking news was first noticed in the “best relay performances” list released by the IAAF on Wednesday, based on timings achieved till July 1, and further confirmed through communication with the IAAF Competitions Department.

Unless the Asian Athletics Association (AAA), which seems to have bungled on the communication front with the IAAF, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and other affected federations including the Chinese, take up the matter vigorously, there looks little possibility of an Indian relay team making it to Beijing. — Special Correspondent

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