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LALITA BABAR SETS NEW NATIONAL MARK, ENTERS 3000M STEEPLECHASE FINAL IN BEIJING

Lalita Babar of India broke the national record in the 3000m steeplechase event of the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing on Monday, qualifying for the final with the eighth best timing in the heats. Babar finished fourth in her heat with a timing of 9:27.86 mins which were topped by favorite Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia who clocked 9:24.38 mins – fastest in the heats. Lalita Shivaji Babar smashed her own national record in a creditable performance to qualify for the women’s 3000m steeplechase final in the World Athletics Championships here on Monday.

Babar, the reigning Asian champion, clocked 9:27.86 to finish fourth in heat number two and qualified for the final round as one of the six fastest timers outside three top finishers in each of the three heats who got automatic qualification. The final race is scheduled for Wednesday. Maharashtra girl Babar, who trains under Nikolai Snesarev, cut more than six seconds than her own earlier national record time of 9:34.13 which she had clocked while winning the continental championships in Wuhan, China in June.

The second fastest was German Gesa Felicitas Krause, the finalist at the past two editions of the World Championships, in 9:24.92 and Ethiopia’s Hiwot Ayalew was third fastest in 9:25.55 among the 15 runners who qualified for the finals. All the favorites made it safely through to the final and the all three heats were close races, with the winning times within two seconds of each other

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