Asian Athletics Championships Day 1 round-up: Manpreet Kaur, G. Laxmanan win gold, Vikas Gowda settles for bronze
The Asian Athletics Championships kicked off in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha today and for Indian fans, it was double delight as two athletes won gold medals in their respective events. India ended the day with a total of seven medals, thanks to a solitary silver and four bronze ones.
It was Manpreet Kaur who picked the first gold of the day in the women’s shot put. Her throw of 18.28m was not as good as her personal best but was enough for her to clinch the gold medal and the coveted World Championships spot. Kaur had also won the gold medal at the Asian Grand Prix and behind her was China’s Guo Tianqian at 17.91m while Japan’s Aya Ota finished in third place at 15.45m.
India’s second gold came through Govindan Laxmanan in the men’s 5000m, who clocked a time of 14:54:48. Behind him by over a minute and winning the silver medal was Qatar’s Yaser Salem, while it was Saudi Arabian Tariq Ahmad who finished third.
Double defending champion in the men’s discus throw event, Vikas Gowda could only manage a bronze medal this time around. Hadadi Ehsan of Iran won the gold medal with a best attempt of 64.54m, while Irfan Muhammad of Malaysia finished second. Gowda’s best throw was 60.81m, with the others being 54.66, 58.96, 59.41, 58.98 along with one foul throw.
Gowda’s participation in the continental event was not assured till at the last moment and he was declared fit to play after a last-minute decision by the federation.
The women’s long jump event brought two more medals for India. Standing on the podium were Neena V., who clinched silver with a jump of 6.54m and Nayana James, whose best effort of 6.42m won her the bronze. Taking the gold medal was Vietnam’s Bui Thi Thu.
Rounding up India’s medal tally are Sanjivani Jadhav, who won bronze in the 5000m women’s event with a timing of 16:00:24, approximately two-and-a-half seconds behind the gold winner. National record-holder in the women’s javelin throw, Annu Rani clinched third place with a throw of 57.32m.
Earlier in the day, Dutee Chand, whose future again looks uncertain, also qualified for the semifinals of the women’s 100m with a timing of 11.40 seconds.