Discus thrower Vikas Gowda laid down a marker in a year of the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games by winning silver in the Doha Diamond League, a first for an Indian athlete at the prestigious series. Gowda’s silver-medal winning throw of 63.23 meters came in his second attempt after he was only placed provisionally fifth after the first round. His fourth and sixth attempts were declared as ‘fouls’.
Though, Gowda is ninth on the season-best list, his 64.39 metres at an invitational meet in Walnut, California, in April is better than his Friday’s effort. What makes the second-place finish significant was the presence of Asian record-holder Ehsan Hadadi of Iran in the field.
However, Hadadi finished only seventh in a field of nine. Piotr Malachowski of Poland won gold at Doha by throwing a distance of 66.72 metres, while Gerd Kanter of Estonia was third with 62.90. Malachowski holds the record in the Diamond League after he registered a throw of 69.83 in Gateshead in 2010.
The Diamond League is a series which will have fourteen meetings this year and attracts the top athletes from around the world. Athletes compete over the series to win the ‘diamond race’ as points are given for the top-three in each event at each of the Diamond League meetings.
Bigger meets ahead
However, with Gowda’s focus being on the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, where he is defending a silver and a bronze respectively, he is unlikely to take part in the full series.
Going by his previous performances in the aforementioned competitions, Gowda will have to throw close to his season’s best in order to get a medal. At the Asian Championships held in Pune last year, US-based Gowda had thrown a distance of 64.90 to win gold.
Tintu finishes sixth
In the women’s 800 metres, India’s Tintu Luka finished sixth in a field of 10 runners with a timing of 2:00.56. Luka’s best-ever timing in the event stands at 1:59.17 achieved at Split, Croatia, in 2010. Jepkoech Eunice Sum of Kenya won the gold by stopping the clock at 1:59.33 while Chanelle Prince of the United States also ran sub two minutes with a timing of 1:59.75. Lenka Masna of Czech Republic took the bronze by clocking 2:00.20. Less than one-tenth of a second separated Tintu and the fifth and fourth places runners – Janeth Jepkosgei and Molly Beckwith respectively.
Dutee makes World Juniors
Chennai: Dutee Chand set a national junior record en route to winning gold in women’s 100m dash on the opening day of the 12th Federation Cup National Junior Athletics Championships here on Friday.
Dutee clocked a remarkable 11.63 secs that erased the earlier national junior record of 11.75s held by Saraswati Dey since 1996 by a huge margin. With today’s effort, she also qualified for this year’s World Junior Athletics Championships to be held at Eugene in United States.
A bronze medallist in 200m in the Senior Asian Championships in Pune last year, fast rising Odisha sprinter is expected to do well in the upcoming Asian Junior Championships at Chinese Taipei next month.
Tamil Nadu’s Archana Suseendran, the double gold medallist in last year’s South Asian Junior Championships in Ranchi, finished a distant second in 12.14s while Bengal girl Himashree Roy took the bronze, clocking 12.20s.
Shot putter Navtejdeep Singh of Punjab also made World Junior Athletics Championships grade as he tossed the 6kg iron ball to 18.56m to win the gold. The second-placed Shakti Solanki, another SAF junior gold medallist and World Youth Championships participant just like Navtejdeep, managed only 17.93m to gain a berth for the Asian Junior Championships. The qualification norm for World Juniors stood at 18.25m. (PTI)