Shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor and Gomathi Marimuthu clinched a gold medal each to take India’s medal count to five on Monday. Marimuthu won the women’s 800m race to bag the first gold medal for India at the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships. She achieved the feat with a timing of 2:02.70, a personal best, in a close finish with China’s Chunyu Wang (2:02.96). Toor also recorded a personal best of 20.22m to secure the yellow metal.
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“I did not realise till I crossed the finish line that I have won a gold medal. The last 150m was very tight race,” Gomathi said after the race.
Toor was a strong contender for the gold medal as the season leader among the Asians and he lived up to the billing. National record holder Toor’s first round throw of 20.22m was enough to fetch him a gold in the men’s shot put final at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha.
Shivpal Singh then won the silver in men’s javelin throw by sending the spear to a distance of 86.23m, his personal best. He thus crossed the qualifying mark of 83m for the World Championships to be held at the same venue in September-October.
Earlier, Jabir Madari Palliyalil and Sarita Gayakwad secured the bronze medals in men’s and women’s 400m hurdles respectively.
Gayakwad began India’s medal rush on Monday as she won the bronze medal in the women’s 400m hurdles with a timing of 57.22, behind Vietnam’s Quach The Lan (56.10) and Bahrain’s Aminat Yusuf Jamal (56.39).
However, she missed out on qualifying for the World Championships as she needed a time of 56.00 or better.
Meanwhile, MP Jabir registered a personal best of 49.13s to finish third. He has also qualified for the World Championships (49.30s qualifying mark).
After two straight days of national record breaking spurts, sprinter Dutee Chand had a terrible outing in the final. She finished a disappointing fifth in the women’s 100m final by clocking 11.44 seconds. During the heats and semifinals she clocked 11.28 seconds and 11.26 seconds respectively in bettering her own national record.
In the men’s 400m, India suffered setbacks as defending champion Muhammed Anas and last edition silver winner Arokia Rajiv failed to win a medal.
Rajiv finished fourth with a personal best time of 45.37 seconds while Anas, who has been struggling after a leg injury in an accident last year, ended at eighth with a time of 46.10 seconds.
In men’s 800m final, Muhammed Afsal finished seventh with a time of 1:54.68 while Asian Games silver medallist Jinson Johnson was not able to complete the race.
With the five medals on Monday, India’s medal tally at the Asian Championships in Doha stands at 2 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze. India had won 2 silver and 3 bronze on Sunday.