New Delhi: Olympics-bound Lalita Babar smashed the national record to win a gold medal and Sudha Singh too qualified for the Rio Games winning a silver in women's 3000m steeplechase on the second day of the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in Delhi. Incidentally,
Lalita Babar had set the last national record herself at the 2015 Beijing World Championships when she had finished eighth in the final after leading for a significant portion of the race.
Sudha Singh finished second (9:31.86) and became eligible to qualify for Rio Olympics, the entry standard for which is 9:45.00. Sudha's was the first Olympic qualifying effort in the Championships. In addition to this, two national records were created on the first day on Thursady with Dutee Chand (women's 100m) and Amiya Kumar Mallick (men's 100m), both from Odisha, clocking 11.33secs and 10.26secs respectively, though both could not make the Rio cut.
Media reports claim that within minutes of Sudha qualifying for Rio Games, AFI Secretary C K Valson had sent an e-mail to Shanghai Diamond League organisers to allow Sudha to compete in the prestigious event to be held there on May 14.