Indian started their campaign with five medals on the opening day of Asian Athletics Championship as winning three bronze and two silver medals. Odisha’s Dutee Chand smashed her own record to qualify for the semis with the biggest disappointment being Hima Das, who retired with back spasms.
26-year-old Meerut Javelin thrower Annu Rani, who has previously won a bronze medal at the Asian Championship held at Bhubaneswar, grabbed a silver medal with a best distance of 60.22m. This was 2m short than her national record of 62.34 during the Federation Cup last month but she managed to earn herself a place at the World Championships to be held between September-December in Khalifa Stadium.
"I was keen on doing well as I knew I had trained well for the event. I was pumped up and would have got my career best had I not thrown from far behind the line," said Annu after winning the silver. reported TOI.
24-year-old Avinash Sable led the charge with a silver medal by finishing 3000m steeplechase within 8 minutes 30.19 seconds to get his first international medal. "I just gave my everything in the last 250m. I am really happy to win my first medal for the country," said Sable.
Parul Choudhary bagged another bronze by finishing third in 5000 m race by clocking her personal best of 15 minutes and 36.03 seconds, where her best was 15 minutes 58.35 seconds during Federation cup. The gold and silver medals were bagged by runners from Bahrain.
"I did not worry about the leaders stepping up the pace. I ran according to plan and how my body felt," said the 24-year-old.
In another event, quarter-miler M P Poovamma came third by clocking 53.21 behind Elina Mikhia and Salwa Naser of Kazakhstan and Bahrain respectively and bagged a bronze medal. The last medal of the day for India was bagged by Gavit Murali in men's 10000m race, which was his personal best time of 28 minutes 38.34 seconds.
Earlier in the morning, Dutee clocked 11.28 seconds in women's 100m race, however, she couldn't touch 11.24, which was the qualification mark for World Championships. In women's 800m, Gomathi Marimuthu qualified for the finals by finishing second and clocked 2:04.96.
In men's triple jump, Chitravel finished ninth with 15.66 and qualified for the finals. Saritaben Gayakwad (58.17s) and M Arpitha (58.20s) qualified for women’s 400m hurdles final from their respective heats while MP Jabir (50.17s) did the same in men’s 400m hurdles.
The only discontent raised from the Indian contingent was from Hima Das, who had failed to finish the 400m race due to back spasms as the 19-year-old runner was seen slowing down when she was arriving the 180m mark.
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