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Krishna Poonia fails to qualify for Rio Olympics

July 10, 2016 18:15 IST

IMAGE: Krishna Poonia of India competes in a women's discus event. Photograph: Getty Images.

Krishna Poonia has failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics as she could not touch the qualifying standard in the competitions she took part in the United States.

34-year-old Poonia, the lone Indian woman track and field athlete to have won an individual gold in the Commonwealth Games, finished first in her last competition in the United States with a throw of 57.10 metres at Florida but that was far below the Rio qualification mark.

The Olympics qualification mark stands at 61 metres and the deadline for making it to the Rio Games is Monday. 

In the two months Poonia trained and competed in the United States with funding from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) of the Sports Ministry, she could come up with a best effort of 59.49 metres. She had a personal best and national record of 64.76 metres which she did in 2012. She won the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games with a throw of 61.51 metres.

Poonia has taken part in three Olympics (2004, 2008 and 2012) and she is one of the few Indian track and field athletes to have qualified in the final rounds of any event in the Olympics when she finished sixth in 2012 London Games. 

"I tried my best to qualify for Rio Olympics but in the end I could not do it. I think I did not have enough time to come back to my best after my knee surgery (last year)," Poonia told PTI from US. 

"I will now look forward to the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. I thank the Sports Ministry and Sports Authority of India for supporting me and allowing me to train and compete in the United States. I wish all my countrymen taking part in the Rio Olympic Games all the success," she said.

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