Javelin thrower Shivpal Singh makes cut for World Championships
Unheralded half miler Gomathi Marimuthu and shot putter Tejinderpal Singh Toor clinched a gold each to share the limelight as India bagged five medals on the second day of the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha on Monday.
The 30-year-old Gomathi clocked a personal best time of 2 minute 02.70 seconds in the women's 800m race to open India's gold account.
"I did not realise till I crossed the finish line that I have won a gold medal. The last 150m was very tight race," Gomathi said later.
National record holder and pre-competition favourite Toor's first round throw of 20.22m was enough to fetch him a gold in the men's shot put final at the Khalifa Stadium.
The 24-year-old Toor, who has a personal best of 20.75m, had entered into the championships as the season leader among Asians and he lived up to his top billing.
Shivpal Singh then added a silver in men's javelin throw by sending the spear to a distance of 86.23m, his personal best. In the process, the 23-year-old Shivpal also booked a berth for the World Championships to be held at the same venue in September-October as he crossed the qualifying mark of 83m.
Jabir Madari Palliyalil and Saritaben Gayakwad bagged a bronze each in the men's and women's 400m hurdles respectively to swell the Indian medal tally.
With the five medals on Monday, India's medal tally stood at 2 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze. India had won 2 silver and 3 bronze on the first day on Sunday.
Sprinter Dutee Chand finished a disappointing fifth in the women's 100m dash final by clocking 11.44 seconds. She ran her worst race in the final after smashing her own national record twice in two days -- in the heats (11.28) on Sunday and semi-finals (11.26) on Monday.
Dutee had won a bronze in the 2017 edition in Bhubaneswar.
The first Indian medal of the second day came from 24-year-old Gayakwad who clocked 57.22 seconds to finish third in women's 400m hurdles, behind Vietnam's Quach The Lan (56.10) and Bahrain's Aminat Yusuf Jamal (56.39).
Jabir then added a bronze by running the third fastest men's 400m hurdles by an Indian as he clocked a personal best of 49.13 seconds.
In the process, the 22-year-old Jabir joined national record holder Dharun Ayyasamy as the second Indian to qualify for the World Championships 400m hurdles event to be held at the same venue in September-October. The World Championships qualifying mark is 49.30 seconds.
Dharun, who set a new national record of 48.80 during the Federation Cup last month, missed this Asian Championships due to injury.
Pre-race favourite Abderrehman Samba of Qatar won gold with a world leading time of 47.51 seconds.
However, in the men's 400m, India suffered setbacks as defending champion Muhammed Anas and last edition silver winner Arokia Rajiv failed to win a medal.
Rajiv finished fourth with a personal best time of 45.37 seconds while Anas, who has been struggling after a leg injury in an accident last year, ended at eighth with a time of 46.10 seconds.
In men's 800m final, Muhammed Afsal finished seventh with a time of 1:54.68 while Asian Games silver medallist Jinson Johnson was not able to complete the race.