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September 22, 2000
Indians out of shot putThe Rediff Team
Shakti Singh and Bahadur Singh, representing India in the men's shot-put competition, made a quick exit from the athletics arena at Homebush Bay, Sydney.
The event was won by Finland's Arsi Harju with a distance of 21.29 metres ahead of Adam Nelson of the US with 21.21m. Bronze went to John Godina, also of the US, with 21.20m.
On day one of the track and field competitions, Shakti Singh finished 17th out of 19 contenders in Group A of the qualifying round.
Singh's first put of 18.40 was his best, his other throws being 17.96 and 18.13. Only puts of 20.10 and above qualify
In Group B, Bahadur Singh finished 13 in a field of 18. His first put was 18.7. His two other puts were fouls.
What is most interesting -- and a damning commentary not only of Indian standards in the sport, but of the Indian government's, and the athletics associations, selection procedures, is this little detail:
Shakti Singh's personal best is 18.40. The best ever put by Bahadur Singh is the 18.70 he registered today.
The qualifying mark in the preliminary round is 20.10. Neither of the Indian putters even came close.
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