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Nirmala Sheoran achieves Olympic qualification

India's Nirmala Sheoran made the cut for next month's Rio Olympics after clocking 51.48s in the 400m event at the National Inter-State Senior Athletics championships in Haryana. She became the 24th track and field athlete from India to qualify for the Games after surpassing the Olympic qualification mark of 52.20 secs.

Nirmala had clocked 52.35s during the 400m heats yesterday, and she led right from start to finish in the finals, erasing the previous best meet mark of 51.73s held by MR Poovamma since 2014.

Her timing put Nirmala fourth in the Indian all-time rankings behind Manjeet Kaur (51.04s, 2004), K M Beenamol (51.21s, 2000) and Chitra K Soman (51.30s, 2004).

Reacting on Nirmala's feat, former Indian athlete PT Usha said,: "The race was really good and it would be great if she maintained her performance in the upcoming meets as well."