Get ready for the Deepanshi surprise

The 21-year-old from Rohtak ran the country’s fastest 400m at the recent Haryana Championships

Published - June 10, 2024 08:51 pm IST - KOCHI:

Deepanshi after winning the 400m gold at the recent Haryana Championships with an India-leading time.

Deepanshi after winning the 400m gold at the recent Haryana Championships with an India-leading time. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

A year ago, Himanshi Malik virtually came out of nowhere and finished 2024 as the country’s fastest quartermiler with her 51.76s after the Inter-State National champion Anjali Devi (51.48s) failed a dope test. Himanshi, from Haryana, had a knee surgery earlier this year and is yet to return to competition.

The Olympics are just a month away and since India has surprisingly qualified for the women’s 4x400m relay (from the recent World Relays in Bahamas), there is a desperate search for quality quartermilers to strengthen the team to Paris. And with the Inter-State Nationals, the important Olympic selection meet, coming up in Panchkula later this month, a couple of girls have quietly thrown their hats into the ring with an eye on the Paris relay team.

Deepanshi, who skipped all the National meets held earlier this season, clocked the country’s fastest 400m this year (52.10s) at the Haryana State Championships in Karnal early this month. That’s a stunning improvement for the 21-year-old, whose previous best (53.50) came at the 2022 Chennai Inter-State Nationals where she was fifth. Her best last year was 54.18s at the Goa National Games (out in heats).

Deepanshi, who is coached by Himanshi’s coach Ramesh Sindhu in Rohtak, appears to be ready to make a bang at the Inter-State Nationals in her home State Haryana.

“I expect her to clock 51.8 or 51.9s at Panchkula and join the national camp after that. She’s tall, some 5’10, and her stride length is long,” Sindhu, who has been coaching Deepanshi for the last six years, told The Hindu from Rohtak on Monday evening.

He explained that she had missed the earlier competitions this year as she was not fit.

Vithya drops to third

Meanwhile, 23-year-old former international Kiran Pahal, who had been very inconsistent after clocking an impressive 51.84s in 2022, appears to have regained her old form. She clocked 52.13s while finishing behind Deepanshi at the State meet, which will now push Tamil Nadu’s Vithya Ramraj (personal best 52.25s in March) — the country’s No. 1 this year before the Haryana Championships — to the third spot in the India 400m list this season.

Vithya ran in the first Olympic qualification race at the World Relays but did not run in the team that made the cut for Paris through the second qualification race.

Deepanshi’s and Kiran’s rise should keep the others on their toes in Panchkula.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.