Seema Punia defied age to qualify for her fourth Olympics. And she did it in some style by breaking the meet record in the women’s discus throw on the fifth and final day of the 60th National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NSNIS), Patiala on Tuesday.
She had competed in the 2004 Athens Games, 2012 London and2016 Rio Games.
Seema, 38, will join Kamalpreet Kaur who booked her Olympic berth earlier.
Seema started with 59.31m and increased it to 60.35 and 63.18 in her second and third attempts. She achieved the qualification mark (63.50m) in her fourth attempt which was measured at 63.72m. Sonal Goyal of Delhi and Madhu Renu of Rajasthan who finished second and third failed to cross the 50m mark.
However, there was some good news as the World Athletics (WA), the global governing body of athletics, confirmed that the Indian quartet’s timing of 3 minutes 01.89 seconds on Friday will be considered as 13th position.
On the first day of the national meet, on Friday, the men’s 4x400m team comprising Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv, and Noah Nirmal Tom set a new meet record of 3:01.89s in the heats which propelled the Indians to 13th position.
In the final on Tuesday, 400m hurdler M P Jabir replaced Amoj who was rested after he complained of some pain on Monday evening.
Still, the squad set a new meet record of 3 minutes 05.22 seconds. The old meet record of 3:09.29 was set by Kerala in the 2006 Chennai edition.
As expected the women’s 4x100m relay team failed to make the cut.
In the shorter relay, the team sorely missed the injured Hima Das. However, Dutee Chand anchored the team comprising Daneshwari AK, Archana Suseendran, Dhanalakshmi S to a new meet record of 44.15s. Later Hima competed in 200m only to finish out of the medal bracket. The event was won by Anjali PD of Kerala.
In the 4x400m, Indian team will have to wait for the World Athletic’s Road to Tokyo rankings list which will be released soon. Tuesday also closed the Olympic qualification.
In men’s javelin throw, Tokyo-bound Shivpal Singh of UP finished second behind his statemate Rohit Yadav who won the gold medal with an effort of 77.74m. Shivpal who will be competing with Neeraj Chopra in Tokyo threw the spear to 77.31m while Sri Lankan Sumedha Ranasinghe completed the podium with 77.28m.
MEN Javelin throw: Rohit Yadav (Uttar Pradesh, 77.74m), Shivpal Singh (UP, 77.31m), Sumedha Ranasinghe (Sri Lanka, 77.28m); 4x400m: India 3:05.22s NMR, OMR 3:09.29s by Kerala in 2006 (Jabir MP, Arokia Rajiv, Md Anas Yahiya, Noah Nirmal Tom), Punjab (3:09.84), Haryana (3:13.02s); 3000m steeplechase: Shankar Lal Swami (Haryana, 8:46.36s), Vikram Singh (MP, 9:15.53s), Md Nur Hasan (UP, 9:17.96s); 200m: Love Preet Singh (Pun, 21.04s), Kaliga Kumarage (Lanka, 21.13), Nithin B (TN, 21.20s)
WOMEN 4x100m relay: INDIA 44.15 NMR, OMR 45.69s by Tamil Nadu team in 2019 (Daneshwari AK, Archana Suseendran, Dhanalakshmi S & Dutee Chand), Sri Lanka 44.55s BMR, (W V L Sugandi, Amasha De Silva, Shalinda Jansen, B I M Jayamanne), Telangana (45.91s); 4x400m: India E 3:38.46 (Subha Venkatesan, Jisna Mathew, Kiran Pahal, R Veeramani), INDIA MIX-B 3:47.16 (Vismaya V K, Shalini VK, Dandi Jyothika of Sri Lanka, A Shabaa Saleem of Maldives), Punjab (3:54.77s); 1500m: Harmilan Bains (Punjab 4:15.52s), Chanda (Del, 4:18.96s), Chitra PU (Kerala, 4:20.29s); 3000m steeplechase: Parul Chaudhary (UP, 10:01.58s), Komal Chandrakant Jagadale (Maharashtra, 10:10.31s), Nilani Rathnayake (Sri Lanka, 10:12.02); discus throw: Seema Punia (UP, 63.70m NMR, OMR 62.49m set by Neelam J Singh in 2000 Chennai), Sonal Goyal (Del, 49.50m), Madhu Renu (Raj, 47.55m); 200m: Anjali PD (Kerala, 24.01s), B I M Jayamanne (Lanka, 24.08s), Harika Devi Antaram (Telangana, 24.64s).