Athletics: Mid-event blackout farce leaves Indian sprinters' Olympic dreams in limbo

AFP - Two leading Indian sprinters' Olympics hopes were up in the air on Monday after a power cut during a qualifying event meant their apparently record-breaking performances could not be officially classified.

The outage during Sunday's Indian Grand Prix led to farcical scenes, with organisers having to use hand-held clocks to record the times after electronically powered digital timers and wind gauges packed up.

Four new national records were clocked at the event in New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, while two athletes ran below the qualifying time for the Rio Games beginning in August.

But their joy was short-lived when it was confirmed their times would not be ratified and they would instead have to try again at another event later this week.

Amiya Kumar Mallick was timed running the 100m in 10.09 sec, which not only shattered the national record by 0.21 sec but was also quicker than the Olympic qualification mark of 10.16 seconds.

Srabani Nandaware won the women's 100m in 11.23 sec, apparently breaking the 16-year-old national record of 11.38 sec and faster than the Rio qualification time of 11.32 sec.

"It's disappointing because I know I had run a quick time. But it will not count for anything because the electronic timing was not working," Mallick was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

The stadium, which was built for the 1982 Asian Games and was the main venue for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, is managed by the Sports Authority of India, which was not immediately available for comments on Monday.