New Delhi, 31 July: Top middle-distance runner Harmilan Bains clocked 4:11.85 to finish second in the women’s 1500m race at the Birmingham University Grand Prix athletics meet.

The 25-year-old Indian timed a little over six seconds short of her national record time of 4:05.39, achieved in Warangal in 2021. Local athlete Niamh Bridson Hubbard ran a personal best of 4:11.13 to win the race in Birmingham.

Tokyo Olympian Amy-Eloise Markovc of Great Britain was third with 4:12.70 in the 13-woman race. The event was a World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger event.

Harmilan Bains returned to the track late last year after undergoing surgery for a knee injury that had sidelined her from the Commonwealth Games and the world athletics championships.

Her first competitions this year were at the Loughborough and Manchester meets in May.

At the National championships in Bhubaneshwar last month, Harmilan Bains made the cut for the Asian Games in both the 800m and the 1500m. In the 1500m, she clocked 4:08.50.

Her times this year, however, were not enough to earn her a direct entry at the world athletics championships in Budapest next month. The qualifying standards for the women’s 1500m
at the Budapest meet is 4:03.50. She has been training in Europe since June, mostly in Manchester, with coach Yunis Khan.

At world No. 200, Lili Das is the leading Indian in the women’s 1500m this year followed by KM Deeksha and KM Chanda.

The qualification period for the world championships ends on July 30. Only 56 entries will be allowed in the women’s 1500m – either via attaining qualification standard or through world rankings.
 

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