Indian steeplechaser Lalita Babar produced a sensational performance as she progressed through to the women's 3000 m final after finishing seventh overall in the qualifying rounds of the event here at the Rio Olympics on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Asian champion, hailing from western Maharashtra, broke the national record by seven seconds while finishing fourth in the second heat with a timing of 9:19:76.
Lalita qualified for the final as the fastest loser.
According to progression rules, apart from the top three in each heat, the next six fastest athletes will also qualify for the summit clash.
On the other hand, previous national record holder Sudha Singh failed to qualify for the final after finishing ninth in the third heat with a timing of 9:43.29.
Bahrain's Ruth Jebet finished first with a timing of 9:12.62 ahead of Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya and American Emma Coburn.
The 3000m steeplechase final will be held on Monday. In the women's 400m event, Nirmala Sheoran failed to qualify for the final after finishing sixth in her heat. India, who have sent their largest-ever contingent of 119 athletes in Rio Olympics, are yet to open their medal account in the ongoing Summer Games.