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IAAF World Championships: Nirmala Sheoran bows out in semi-finals

Sheoran is the reigning Asian champion.


Sheoran’s timing was way below her personal and season’s best of 51.20
Sheoran’s timing was way below her personal and season’s best of 51.20

India’s disappointments at the ongoing 2017 IAAF World Championships continue with Asian champion Nirmala Sheoran bowing out in the semi-finals of the 400m at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on Monday night. The quarter miler clocked 53.07 seconds to finish seventh in her heat that left her out of contention for a final berth.

The 22-year-old Haryana girl was the only Indian in action on Monday.


Way below her personal best

Sheoran’s timing was way below her personal and season’s best of 51.20 and she could only grab the overall 22nd spot out of the 24 competitors, who made it to the semi-finals. She was even nowhere close to the 52.01 seconds that she had set in the first round heats - the same timing which had brought her the Asian Athletics Championships gold in July.

That performance had enabled her to clinch the final spot among the six best finishers outside the automatic qualifiers and progress through to the semi-finals on Sunday at the World Championships.

However, on Monday night, she looked a pale shadow of herself in a field that had the nine-time World Championships gold medallist and Rio Olympic silver medallist Allyson Felix among others. Running in lane number 3, she soon fell behind the pack and barely managed to overtake Greece’s Irini Vasiliou, who took the eighth spot in that heat with 53.27.

Sheoran later revealed that she had been dealing with problems regarding the food.

“It was not a good race today. Yesterday, I had a good race. I could not recover properly after yesterday’s race. I have problems with the food here and I don’t have a personal coach,” she said, as quoted by PTI.


Felix overshadowed by Bahraini teenager

In Sheoran’s semi-final heat, 19-year-old Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain was the star of the show, who even overshadowed Felix thanks to the 50.08 that she notched up. She not only won the heat with that but even finished fastest among all qualifiers heading into Wednesday night’s final.

The American, who is also the defending champion, took the second automatic qualifying spot in 50.12. Felix is gunning for a mouthwatering showdown with Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who dashed her Olympic gold hopes by diving at the finish line at Rio last year.

Miller-Uibo clocked 50.36 to qualify for the final by topping her heat.


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