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Veteran Seema Punia books Tokyo ticket; Hima, Shivpal disappoint | More sports News – Times of India

June 29, 2021

PATIALA: In the run-up to the Tokyo Games, Asian Games gold medallist discus thrower Seema Punia has battled many odds. Having tested positive for coronavirus in Russia last year, it took her months to get back to full fitness, before she eventually made her way with a throw of 63.72m, surpassing the qualification Olympic standard of 63.50m on the final day of the 60th Inter-State National Athletics Championships at NIS, here.
Having reached Patiala from Belarus in the wee hours of June 27, the 37-year-old went past the 60m mark on four of her five legal throws, going close to the qualifying mark with her third effort of 63.18m that was a new meet record before finding the power to breach the Olympic standard with her fourth try. The previous record was 62.49 by Neelam Singh.
Without a world ranking since she was nursing a glutes injury, Seema was taking part in only her third competition since the 2018 Asian Games. She threw 62.64m in the Federation Cup here in March and managed 58.62 in Minsk on June 25.
The four-time Commonwealth Games medallist from Haryana now joins Punjab’s Kamalpreet Kaur as the second Indian woman to take part in the event in Tokyo. National record holder Kamalpreet, who threw the iron disc to a distance of 66.59m at last week’s Indian Grand Prix-4, decided to skip the competitions on Tuesday. Punia will be taking part in her fourth Olympics after the 2004, 2012 and 2016 editions of the Games.
But the biggest upset of the day was at the men’s javelin throw event, where Tokyo-bound Shivpal Singh from Uttar Pradesh lost to his statemate Rohit Yadav, who took the gold with a best throw of 77.74m. Shivpal, who has been training at the NIS for months, managed a best of 77.31m to finish ahead of Sri Lanka’s Sumedha Ranasinghe (77.28m).
Similarly, in women’s 200m, Hima Das‘ return to the track after suffering a hamstring injury during the 100m heats on Saturday, left her nowhere near the Olympic qualification mark. Chasing 22.80 seconds to qualify, the Assam athlete finished last after clocking 25.03s. Kerala’s Anjali PD took the gold clocking 24.01s, followed by Sri Lanka’s BIM Jayamanne (24.08s) and Telangana‘s Harika Devi (24.64s) for the silver and bronze.
Coming to the relay teams, none of the quartets in contention for the Olympics managed to pull off anything spectacular, both the men’s and women’s 4x400m can be hopeful of making it through. But, the chances of the women’s 4x100m team seem all but over.
Competing without Hima, the women’s 4x100m relay team, comprising Daneshwari AK, Archana Suseentran, Dhanalakshmi and Dutee Chand, took home the gold with a timing of 44.15 seconds, way behind what they needed to achieve to qualify for the Olympics.
The women’s 4x400m relay team, comprising Subha Venkatesan, Jisna Mathew, Kiran Pahal and R Veeramani, won the gold medal by clocking 3:38.46, way less than their best of 3:29.42. They continued to stay at the 16th spot in the Road to Olympic Games Rankings, and their qualification chances hung by a thread.
Similarly, the men’s 4x400m relay team, comprising Madari Palliyalil, Arokia Rajiv, Muhammed Anas Yahiya and Noah Nirmal Tom took the gold by clocking 3:05.22, which is way lesser than the time they registered in the heats a couple of days back. They are currently ranked 13th in the Road to Olympics rankings, with a best of 3:01.89, and that should be enough to see them through. The deadlines will close on Tuesday midnight.
In women’s 1500m, Punjab’s Harmilan Bains failed to qualify as well after clocking 4:15.52, which is way lesser than the qualification standard set at 4.04.20. The 23-year-old was, in fact, way short of her personal best of 4:08.70 which she had set last week at the IGP4. Delhi’s Chanda (4:18.96) and 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist PU Chitra (4:20.29) of Kerala finished with silver and bronze, respectively.
In men’s 3000m Steeplechase, Haryana’s Shankar Lal Swami took the gold, while in men’s 200m final, Punjab’s Lovepreet Singh clocked 21.04s for the gold.

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