MP Jabir recently qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in the men’s 400m hurdles by virtue of the world ranking quota, on Thursday. Working for the Indian Navy since 2017, Jabir will simultaneously become the first Indian male athlete to compete in the 400m hurdles at the Olympics.
Hailing from Malappuram, in Kerala, MP Jabir clocked 49.78 seconds in the recently concluded Inter-State Athletics Championships in Patiala. While that was not enough to secure a direct entry to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the world rankings became crucial.
MP Jabir is currently the 34th ranked athlete in the World Athletics' Road to Olympics rankings, while a total of 40 athletes qualify for the main event. The Kerala-based athlete slipped into the quota of the remaining 14 slots which were yet to be filled.
Jabir thus became the first-ever male athlete from India to qualify in the men’s 400m hurdles event at the Olympics. He is also set to become the second-ever athlete from Kerala to feature in the 400m event at the quadrennial event after the legendary PT Usha competed at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Due to the lack of international competitions owing to the Covid-19 scare, the last competition Jabir participated in before the Inter-State Athletics Championships was way back in 2019. Among the major achievements in his career so far, was the bronze medal wins at the 2017 and 2019 Asian Athletics Championships.