Defending 800 metre champion Tintu Luka led the charge as almost all the Indians who competed in the third morning session qualified for the final rounds at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
Luka overcame a mild stutter on the back straight in the second lap to win the second heat in 2:6.66 seconds and emerge the fastest qualifier. Her team-mates Lili Das (2:07.24) and Archana Adhav (2:09.42) also made it to the half-mile final without much trouble.
In the men’s 800 metre event, Jinson Johnson won the opening heat in 1:50.48 to be among the favourites in the medal race while Vishwambar Kolekar won the third heat to also make it to the final.
India’s US-based Siddhanth Thingalaya qualified as one of the two fastest losers in men’s 110m hurdles, clocking 13.72 seconds to finish third in the second heat.
Ankit Sharma (7.42m), S Samsheer (7.42m) and Siddharth Mohan Naik (7.39m) made it to the final of the men’s long jump.