Indian quarter-miler Nirmala Sheoran qualified for the Rio Olympics after clocking 51.48 secs in 400m at the National Inter-State Senior Athletics championships on Friday. She became the 24th track and field athlete from India to qualify for the Rio Olympics after she cleared the Olympic qualification mark of 52.20 secs and erased the previous record held by Poovamma since 2014.
Her performance has been on a constant improvement and she broke all records by finishing at 52.35 secs during Friday’s 400m heats at GMC Balayogi Stadium. Coached by Vijender Singh, the 22 year-old had not competed in any major events last few months, as her sole focus was the Rio Olympics. The Olympics qualifying mark in the women’s 400 m is 52.20.
Nirmala later said she is really looking forward to a good performance at the Rio. Born into a farmer’s family of seven, Nirmala’s inspiration is P.T. Usha, who congratulated her by saying, “, “She really ran well. The start was perfect and she was clearly leading right through. It was a terrific show and I am delighted that one more Indian athlete made it to the Olympics at Rio.”
Her proud coach, Vijender Singh said, “It is a result of a hard work of more than two years. Each of us have given her our blessings.”