Asian Athletics Championships 2019: India scoops up 10 medals by Day 2
The currently ongoing Asian Athletics Championship in Doha is seeing the crop of India's best athletes making it big on the international platform. After a particularly rewarding 2017 edition where India had emerged on top of the medal tally with 29 medals, the hopes are pretty high this time around too.
Keeping the pressure in mind, Indian athletes got off to a flying start and bagged 5 medals (2 Silver, 3 Bronze) on Day 1 of the event. However, Day 2 of the Championships saw the medal count successfully escalating and coming to rest at a whopping 10 medal haul so far, with 2 more days of the event still remaining.
Whilst Annu Rani and Avinash Sable in javelin throw and steeplechase respectively bagged the silver medals on the first day, M.R. Poovamma, Parul Chaudhary and Murli Kumar Gavit took home bronze medals in their 400m sprint, 5000m run and 10,000m run respectively.
The second day of the tournament began with Sarita Gayakwad's 57.22 seconds finish and thereby clinching the bronze in the 400m Hurdles qualifiers. However, Sarita was unable to qualify for the World Championships and narrowly missed out as she needed to time her run within 56.00 seconds.
The next medal to fly in was another bronze, this time from M.P. Jabir in the 400m Hurdles. Jabir was successful in qualifying for the World Championships as he clocked his victory in 49.13 seconds, which is now his personal best.
Whilst the medals were pouring in, Dutee Chand shone on the tracks as she broke her national record from the Day 1 heats and established a new record in the second day qualifiers. She finished on top of her group at 11.26 seconds and booked herself a spot in the 100m finals. However, she could not get a podium finish and came 5th in the finals with a timing of 11.44 seconds.
In javelin throw, despite the absence of Neeraj Chopra, India seem to managing well as Shivpal Singh threw his personal best of 86.23 metres to bag a silver medal. The first gold of the tournament was scooped up by Tamil Nadu's Gomathi Marimuthu who surprised us with a wonderful and powerful performance in the 800m finals.
Lagging at the third slot in the maximum part of the race, Marimuthu made a final dash in the last 150 metres to clock her personal best of 2:02:70 seconds and an enviable gold medal finish.
The other gold-looter from the second day was the supremely talented shot put athlete, Tajinder Pal Singh Toor. The Asian Games Champion Toor stayed true to his gold-winning habits and secured the medal with the season's best throw so far at 20.22 metres. However, Toor is looking to notch a 21 metre and beyond throw and hopes that he can get it in the Worlds, which will be held in September-October inside the Khalifa Stadium, in Doha itself.
After two golds, one silver and two bronze medal hauls, India is comfortably placed with 10 glistening medals in the bag and 2 more days of the event remaining. The upsets came from Jinson Johnson who fell out of the track while running in the fourth position for most of the 800m event.
Similarly Poornima Hembram and Swapna Barman, finished 4th and 5th respectively in the hepathon 200m event. However, given the medal winning streak the Indians are currently in, these upsets can be overlooked as the remaining 2 days of the event brings with it hopes and promises of many more medals up for grabs.