Kamalpreet Kaur’s only legal throw at the 24th National Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships on Friday rewrote the women’s discus throw National Record. And with that, she claimed a spot in the Olympic Games by crossing the automatic qualification standard. Her 65.06m opening effort did the trick for her, producing the fourth national record in five days in Patiala.
In the women’s 200m final, Hima Das (Assam) with a time of 23.21 seconds left S Dhanalakhsmi (23.39s) and Archana Suseendran (23.60s) fighting for the silver medal in the high-profile event. It was a highly-anticipated race and it saw Das rewrite the meet record which was only broken in the previous round by Dhanalakshmi.
K Elakkiadasan claimed the men’s 200m while Ayyasamy Dharun and R Vithya Ramraj won the men and women’s 400m Hurdles to ease the Tamil Nadu contingent’s pain somewhat.
The men’s Triple Jump competition saw an intense battle, with Karthik Unnikrishnan producing a last-ditch 16.73m and Abdulla managing a 16.59 on his last try to push their Kerala team-mate Eldhose Paul to the third place with a best 16.53m that he had got on his second jump.
Day to remember for Kamalpreet
On the final day, it was Kamalpreet Kaur’s solitary throw that stole the limelight.
The 25-year-old from Badal in Punjab was not overawed by the presence of the 2014 Asian Games champion Seema Punia. Nor did Kamalpreet Kaur allow the fact that she had a couple of 60m-plus behind her affect her. The earlier such throws came in the 2018 Inter-Railway Championships in Lucknow (61.04m) and the 2019 Federation Cup here (60.25m).
With Seema Punia coming up a no mark on her opening throw, Kamalpreet could enter the fray without training on her mind on a target distance but only focused on giving her best. She wound herself up well and unleashed the biggest throw by an Indian woman, surpassing the National record that has stood at 64.76m in the name of Krishan Poonia since 2012.
Seema Punia, who has won a medal in each of her four Commonwealth Games appearances and has two Asian Games medals, fought hard to mark her return to competition after the 2018 Asian Games with a victory. She came up with four throws in excess of 60.50m but her best was the 62.64m that she managed on her fifth attempt.
Kamalpreet thus became the 10th Indian to secure the Tokyo Olympic Games athletics qualification mark laid down by World Athletics. Of course, the Mixed team in the 4x400m relay has also secured a berth in the Tokyo Games.
Those who had booked their Olympic tickets earlier include Avinash Sable (3000m Steeplechase), KT Irfan, Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Rohila (20km Race Walk), M Sreeshankar (Long Jump), Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh (Javelin Throw) among the men, Bhawna Jat and Priyanka Goswami (20km Race Walk) among women.
Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Shot Put), Dutee Chand (100m) and Annu Rani (Javelin Throw) can still get into the Olympic competition by virtue of their world ranking as things stand.
More details about the race to Tokyo here.
The results (finals):
200m: 1. K Elakkiyadasan (Tamil Nadu) 21.19 seconds; 2. Akshay Nain (Delhi) 21.27; 3. A Vignesh (Tamil Nadu) 21.57.
5000m: 1. Amit Jangir (Rajasthan) 14:05.30; 2. Abhishek Pal (Uttar Pradesh) 14:08.59; 3. Puneet Yadav (Haryana) 14:08.80.
400m Hurdles: 1. Ayyasamy Dharun (Tamil Nadu) 50.16 seconds; 2. T Santhosh Kumar (Tamil Nadu) 51.49; 3. K Sathish (Tamil Nadu) 52.11.
Hammer Throw: 1. Gurmeet Singh (Punjab) 69.97m (New Meet Record. Old: 68.46m; Neeraj Kumar, Hyderabad, 2016); 2. Jaswinder Singh (Punjab) 63.22; 3. Taranveer Bains (Punjab) 62.75.
Triple Jump: 1. Karthik Unnikrishnan (Kerala) 16.73m; 2. Abdulla (Kerala) 16.59; 3. Eldhose Paul (Kerala) 16.53.
200m: 1. Hima Das (Assam) 23.21 seconds (New Meet Record; Old: 23.26, S Dhanalakshmi, Patiala, 2021); 2. S Dhanalakshmi (Tamil Nadu) 23.39; 3. Archana Suseendran (Tamil Nadu) 23.60.
5000m: 1. Parul Chaudhary (Uttar Pradesh) 16:03.23; 2. Sanjivani Babar Jadhav (Maharashtra) 16:08.23; 3. Komal Chandrakant Jagdale (Maharashtra) 16:18.48.
400m Hurdles: R Vithya Ramaraj (Tamil Nadu) 59.59 seconds; 2. Nanhi (Haryana) 59.94; 3. VK Salini (Kerala) 1:00.57.
Discus Throw: 1. Kamalpreet Kaur (Punjab) 65.06m (New National and Meet Records. Old National Record: 64.76, Krishna Poonia, Maui, 2012; Old Meet Record; 61.05m, Seema Punia, Patiala, 2018); 2. Seema Punia (Uttar Pradesh) 62.64; 3. Sonal Goyal (Delhi) 51.11.
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