Patiala– Discus thrower Seema Punia, bronze medallist at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, booked her ticket for the Tokyo Olympic Games with a gold medal-winning throw of a 63.72m meters on the concluding day of the National Inter-State Athletics Championships here on Tuesday.
Seema, 37, bettered the Olympic qualification mark of 63.50m. Her Tuesday’s performance was also better than the meet record of 62.49m, set by Neelam J. Singh in 2000 in Chennai.
“I have worked hard over the last two and half years since the Asian Games and am happy that I could secure qualification on Tuesday,” said Seema after qualifying for the Olympics.
The seasoned thrower from Uttar Pradesh opened her Olympic qualification campaign with a throw of 59.31m and booked her Olympic ticket with her fourth attempt.
Sonal Goyal of Delhi took home silver with a modest throw of 49.50m while Madhu Renu of Rajasthan got bronze with an average throw of 47.55m.
In the other finals scheduled for the final day, the gold winning performance of almost all the athletes weren’t good enough to fetch them Olympic berths.
Tuesday, June 29, was the last day to achieve the Olympic qualification mark.
The men’s 4x400m relay is on course to compete at the July 23-August 8 Olympics by virtue of being in the top 16 world ranking. But the women’s 4x100m relay team failed to achieve the time of 43.05 seconds to stay in the race.
Only the top 16 world ranking teams are eligible to qualify for the Olympics before the June 29 deadline.
In the women’s 1,500m race, pre-race favourite Harmilan Bains of Punjab was expected to make the cut for Olympics, but her gold medal winning time of 4 minutes 15.52 seconds was nearly 11 seconds slower than the qualifying time of 4 minutes 04 seconds.
Besides the 4x400m mixed relay squad, Avinash Sable (men’s 3000m steeplechase), Tajinderpal Singh Toor (men’s shot put), Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh (men’s javelin throw), M Sreeshankar (men’s long jump), Kamalpreet Kaur (women’s discus throw) have qualified for the Olympics.
KT Irfan, Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Rohila (men’s category) and Bhawna Jat and Priyanka Goswami (women) have qualified in the 20km race walking event for the Olympics.
MP Jabir (men’s 400m hurdles), Dutee Chand (women’s 200m), Annu Rani (women’s javelin throw) are also expected to make the cut for the Olympic through world ranking system.
200m: 1. Lovepreet Singh (Punjab) 21.04 seconds; 2. Kaliga Kumarage (Sri Lanka) 21.13; 3. B Nithin (Tamil Nadu) 21.20
4x400m Relay: 1. India (MP Jabir, Arokia Rajiv, Muhammed Anas Yahiya and Noah Nirmal Tom) 3:05.22 (New Meet Record. Old: 3:09.29, Kerala, 2006); 2. Punjab 3:09.84; 3. Haryana 3:13.02
3000m Steeplechase: 1. Shankar Lal Swami (Haryana) 8:46.36; 2. Vikram Singh (Madhya Pradesh) 9:15.53; Md Nur Hasan (Uttar Pradesh) 9:17.96
Javelin Throw: 1. Rohit Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) 77.74m; 2. Shivpal Singh (Uttar Pradesh) 77.31, 3. Sumedha Ranasinghe (Sri Lanka) 77.28
200m: 1. PD Anjali (Kerala) 24.01 seconds; 2. BIM Jayamane (Sri Lanka) 24.08; 3. Harika Devi Antaram (Telangana) 24.64
1500m: 1. Harmilan Bain (Punjab) 4:15.52; 2. Chand (Delhi) 4:18.96; 3. PU Chitra (Kerala) 4:20.29
4x100m Relay: 1. India (AK Daneshwari, Archana Suseendran, S Dhanalakshmi and Dutee Chand) 44.15 seconds (New Meet Record. Old: 45.69, Tamil Nadu, Lucknow 2019); 2. Sri Lanka 44.55, 3. Telangana 45.91
4x400m Relay: 1. India (Subha Venkatesan, Jisna Mathew, Kiran Pahal and Veeramani Revathi) 3:38.46; 2. India Mix B 3:47.16; 3. Punjab 3:54.77
3000m Steeplechase: 1. Parul Chaudhary (Uttar Pradesh) 10:01.58; 2. Komal Chandrakant Jagdale (Maharashtra) 10:10.31; 3. Nilani Rathnayake (Sri Lanka) 10:12.02
Discus Throw: 1. Seema Antil (Uttar Pradesh) 63.72m (meet record. Old: 62.49m, Neelam J Singh Chennai, 2000); 2. Sonal Goyal (Delhi) 49.50; 3. Madhu Renu (Rajasthan) 47.55 (IANS)