NEW DELHI: The silver medal that the Indian 4x400 mixed relay quartet of Mohammed Anas, M.R. Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv won at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta has been upgraded to gold. Additionally, Anu Raghavan moved from fourth place to bronze medal position in the women's 400m hurdles. This after the Bahrain squad, which finished first in the 4x400 mixed relay final, was disqualified with Kemi Adekoya of Bahrain being handed a four-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for failing a dope test.
India's initial tally of 69 medals has thus now improved to 70. The new breakdown of medals from the 2018 Asian Games for India is now 16 gold, 23 silver and 31 bronze. Eight gold, nine silver and three bronze make up the 20 medals that have come from athletics.
"The news comes as a fillip to us as we are aiming to build on the Asian Games showing and make a mark at the global level in the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year," Athletics Federation of India (AFI) President Adille J. Sumariwalla said.
"The 4x400m relay squad will be particularly pleased that it now has two gold and a silver from Jakarta. We are confident that under coach Galina Bukharina's guidance, the relay squad will perform well."
The 4x400m mixed relay team of Mohammed Anas, M.R. Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv had finished in 3:15.71 after Hima Das was obstructed by Oluwakemi Adekoya, who was sprawling on the track after the second baton exchange. India now is the first winner of the event introduced in the Asian Games in 2018 in keeping with the international bid to find gender balance.
Anu Raghavan had clocked her fastest time of 2018, 56.92 seconds in finishing fourth in the hurdles final while her teammate JaunaMurmu's second fastest (57.48) gave her the fifth place. Adekoya's disqualification saw them move to higher places.
The Athletic Integrity Unit (AIU) on July 19, 2019 had said that Adekoya's results since August 24, 2018 would be struck out after she had tested positive for an anabolic steroid. IANS