Olympic-bound shot putter Tajinder Pal Singh Toor continued his impressive form as he produced yet another big throw while winning gold on the fourth and penultimate day of the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Patiala on Monday.
Toor, who booked an Olympic ticket on last Monday with a national record throw of 21.49m during the Indian Grand Prix 4, came up with a best effort of 21.10m to win the gold in the event.
The Olympic’s direct qualifying mark is 21.10m, exactly the same distance he cleared on Monday, which meant that the Punjab shot-putter has produced 21m-plus throw twice in a week.
Five of Toor’s six throws were above the 20m mark while one was foul. His series read 20.42, 20.63, 20.92, 20.96, NM, 21.10.
Karanveer Singh, also from Punjab, was a distant second with a best throw of 19.33m while Vanam Sharma of Rajasthan took the bronze with an effort of 18.33m.
In the women’s javelin throw, national record holder Annu Rani failed in her final bid to breach the Olympics qualification mark as she could produce a best effort of 62.83m to win the gold.
Annu, who had won a silver in the 2019 Asian Championships besides a bronze in the 2014 Asian Games, began with 62.83m throw but all her remaining five attempts were fouls.
The Olympics automatic qualification mark is 64m.
The 28-year-old Punjab athlete is, however, expected to make it to the Tokyo Olympics on the basis of world rankings.
She is currently sitting pretty at 19th spot in the Road to Tokyo list with 32 athletes set to take part in the Olympics women’s javelin throw event.
Her national record stands at 63.24m, which she had achieved in March at the Federation Cup here.
It was the 10th time in her last 11 competitions, dating back to August 2019 that Annu went past 60m mark. More importantly, she had won all the five competitions at home this year.
In the absence of Olympic-bound M Sreeshankar, Kerala’s Muhammed Anees Yahiya won the gold in men’s long jump with an effort of 7.76m, ahead of two Uttar Pradesh athletes – Yugant Shekhar Singh (7.63m) and Rishabh Rishishwar (7.54m).
Sri Lanka’s Kalinga Kumarage and Karnataka’s Priya Habbanathahally won the men and women’s 400m events.
Kumarage found the pace to clock a personal best time of 45.73 seconds, improving on the 45.99 had he clocked in the 2018 Asian Games.
The final day of the championships on Tuesday is expected to see veteran discus thrower Seema Punia trying to breach the Olympic qualifying mark of 63.50m.
Apart from that, the men’s 4x400m and the women’s 4x100m relay squads would make their last attempts for Tokyo Olympics qualification.
Men: 400m: 1. Kalinga Kumarage (Sri Lanka) 45.73 seconds; 2. Vikrant Panchal (Haryana) 46.83; 3. Sarthak Bhambri (Delhi) 47.25.
1500m: 1. Ajay Kumar Saroj (Uttar Pradesh) 3:42.55; 2. Shashi Bhushan Singh (West Bengal) 3:44.19; 3. Rahul (Delhi) 3:46.17.
Long Jump: 1. Muhammed Anees Yahiya (Kerala) 7.76m; 2. Yugant Shekhar Singh (Uttar Pradesh) 7.63; 3. Rishabh Rishishwar (Uttar Pradesh) 7.54.
Shot Put: 1. Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Punjab) 21.10m; 2. Karanveer Singh (Punjab) 19.33; 3. Vanam Sharma (Rajasthan) 18.33.
4x100m relay: 1. Maharashtra (Harsh Ajay Rana, K Pandurang Bhosale, A Prakash Khot and S Rajesh Naitam) 41.23; 2. Kerala 41.99; 3. Tamil Nadu 42.03.
Women: 400m: 1. Priya Habbathanahally (Karnataka) 53.29 seconds; 2. M R Poovamma (Karnataka) 53.54; 3. Veeramani Revathi (Tamil Nadu) 53.71.
10,000m: 1. Pooja Harijan (Rajasthan) 35:29.59; 2. Phoolan Pal (Uttar Pradesh) 37:30.24; 3. Jyoti (Uttar Pradesh) 38:23.21.
Javelin Throw: 1. Annu Rani (Uttar Pradesh) 62.83m; 2. Sanjana Choudhary (Rajasthan) 52.65; 3. Pushpa Jakhar (Haryana) 52.48.
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