Triumphant Fifth Place Finish and Asian Record Breaker: Indian Men’s Relay Team at World Athletics Championships 2023
In a triumphant display of athleticism at the World Athletics Championships 2023 held in Budapest, Hungary, the Indian men’s 4x400m relay team secured a commendable fifth place in the finals on Sunday. This remarkable team, comprised of Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Muhammed Ajmal Variyathodi, and Rajesh Ramesh, completed the event with a time of 2:59.92.
Securing the gold medal was the USA team (Quincy Hall, Vernon Norwood, Justin Robinson, and Rai Benjaminwon) with a time of 2:57:31 seconds. Following closely, France secured silver with a time of 2:58.45, while Great Britain clinched bronze with a time of 2:58.71.
The sequence of events unfolded with Muhammed Anas Yahiya providing a robust start for India. However, the second runner, Amoj Jacob, couldn’t quite maintain the momentum. Yet, thanks to the determined effort of Muhammad Ajmal Variyathodi, India managed to keep up with their competitors. It was Rajesh Ramesh’s powerful final burst that ultimately propelled India to secure the fifth position.
Just a day prior, the Indian team had already made waves by shattering the Asian record during the qualifying round, completing the race in an impressive 2:59.05 seconds. This feat outshone the previous record held by Japan, which stood at 2:59.51 seconds.
Delving into the backgrounds of the exceptional members of the Indian men’s 4x400m team:
- Muhammed Anas Yahiya: Born in 1994 in Nilamel, Kerala, Anas embarked on his sporting journey with long jump before transitioning to the 400m running event. He notably became the third Indian athlete to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in the 400m category. In 2019, he established a national record by completing the race in a remarkable 45.24 seconds.
- Amoj Jacob: Hailing from Delhi and born in 1998, Jacob specializes in the 400m and 800m events. His prowess in these events led him to secure medals at the Asian Junior Championships in 2016.
- Muhammad Ajmal Variyathodi: Born in Palakkad, Kerala in 1998, Variyathodi initially embarked on a sporting journey in football before transitioning to track and field events. Starting with the 100m dash, he later transitioned to the 400m event. Notably, he clinched gold in the 400m at the Inter-State Nationals in Bhubaneshwar earlier in the year, finishing the event in an impressive 45.51 seconds.
- Rajesh Ramesh: The youngest member of the quartet, Ramesh was born in Tamil Nadu in 1999. Despite facing obstacles like injuries and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ramesh demonstrated resilience and determination. In an impressive turn of events, he even outperformed his teammate Muhammed Anas Yahiya, setting a better time in the 400m event at the Federation Cup. Notably, in 2020, Ramesh worked as a ticket checker at the Trichy, Tamil Nadu railway station for nearly a year, showcasing his commitment and versatility.
The Indian men’s 4x400m relay team has not only displayed exceptional athletic prowess but also a journey marked by dedication and triumph over adversities. Their achievements in the World Athletics Championships 2023 stand as a testament to their skill and determination.