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Luka disappoints, but qualifies for Olympics

Last updated on: September 02, 2011 18:46 IST

India's campaign in the World Athletics Championships ended on a disappointing note, with woman 800m runner Tintu Luka failing to qualify for the final round, in Daegu, South Korea, on Friday.

However, her showing was good enough to earn her a berth in 2012 London Olympics.

Luka clocked 2:00.95 seconds, her season's best, to finish sixth in heat number two of the semi-finals and 15th overall. She, however, qualified for the London Games as she crossed the Games 'B' qualifying standard of 2:01.30s.

The 21-year-old Luka, a protege of the legendary P T Usha, holds the national record of 1:59.17s but even that mark would not have been enough for her to qualify for the finals, as the last and eighth athlete who made the grade clocked 1:58.98s.

Defending champion Caster Semenya of South Africa led the time chart among the eight athletes through to the final round with a timing of 1:58.07s.

Olympic qualification was consolation for Luka though her effort was a big disappointment. She was not expected to win a medal here but at least a final round qualification would have boosted her confidence.

Another Indian in the fray on Friday, Renjith Maheswary left the Daegu stadium with no marks in the men's triple jump qualification round after fouling all his three jumps.

India were represented by eight athletes, and, just like any other previous World Championship campaigns, came back empty-handed. Only discus thrower Vikas Gowda and long jumper Mayookha Johny reached the final round.

India have won just one medal in the World Athletics Championships with long jumper Anju Bobby George winning a bronze in 2003 in Paris.

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