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Saurabh Vij in shot put final

August 18, 2006 12:14 IST

Saurabh Vij qualified for the final of the men's shot put at the World Junior Athletics Championship with an attempt of 19.27m in Beijing on Friday.

The Delhi lad, who is the only realistic medal hope for India at the event, was placed third among the competitors who made it to the medal round.

However, the other Indian in the fray, Om Prakash Singh Karhana failed to make it despite registering a personal best of 18.41m in Group A. The lowest mark to get through to the final was that of Tobias Hepperle of Germany who threw the six kg iron to 18.59m.

Vij was the leader in Group B but the competitor to qualify with the best mark was American John Hickey who had a personal best of 19.49m. He was followed by Mashari Mohammad of Kuwait who managed 19.31m.

Vij registered his mark in his first attempt itself and did not need to throw again.

The junior world record holder in the event after he heaved the iron ball to 20.35m during the Junior Federation Cup at Chennai had to settle for a silver medal after a throw of 19.62m in the Asians championships in Macau.

Vij has improved his technique and tossed beyond 21m regularly in training and if he achieves it tomorrow, he will surely return home with a medal.

India has won just one medal from the World junior championships, the bronze by woman discus thrower Seema Antil in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2002. She had won the gold in the 2000 edition in Santiago, Chile, only to be stripped of the title following a positive dope test.

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