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Athens 2004: India’s Binu qualifies for semis

Press Trust of India

Posted: Aug 21, 2004 at 1119 hrs IST

India's K.M. Binu set a new national mark in the men's 400m and qualified for the semi-finals of the one-lap race in the Olympic Games here on Friday.

Binu cropped 0.08 secs off the existing four-year-old national mark set by Paramjit Singh in 2000 at Chennai while finishing third in his first round heat.

He qualified as one of the eight fastest runners who failed to figure among the top two in each of the eight preliminary round heats.

The 24-year-old Binu finished in 45.48 seconds, behind heat winner Carlos Santa of Dominican Republic (45.31) and second placed Lewis Banda of Zimbabwe (45.37).

Binu would now aim to become only the fourth Indian male athlete to qualify for a track final in the Olympics following the efforts of Milkha Singh (400m, Rome 1960), Gurbachan Singh Randhawa (110m hurdles, Tokyo 1964) and Sriram Singh (800m, 1976 Montreal).

The three-heat semifinals are to be held on Saturday.

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