Annu Rani smashes national record, reaches final at IAAF World Athletics Championships

Annu Rani qualified for the women's javelin throw final and set a national record at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha on Monday.

Annu Rani bettered her previous best of 62.34m with a throw of 62.43m during qualification at the IAAF World Athletics Championships on Monday.   -  Reuters

It was double delight for Annu Rani as she set a new national record and became the first Indian to reach the women's javelin throw final at the ongoing IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, on Monday.

Annu bettered her previous best of 62.34m which she had set at the Federation Cup in March with a throw of 62.43m during qualification. She is also the first Indian woman to cross the 60m mark.

IAAF Championships day 4 highlights - Annu Rani breaks national record

The Asian Athletics Championships silver medallist began her campaign at the IAAF World Athletics Championships with a throw of 57.05m and followed it up with a record-breaking second throw of 62.43m. The 27-year-old then threw 60.50m in the third and final round. However, her second throw catapulted her to the third spot in Group A.

Annu was more than a metre behind the automatic qualification mark of 63.50s. In fact just two (China's Asian record holder Lyu Huihui and Germany's Christin Hussong) made the cut – and Rani qualified as one of the best 12 from the two qualification groups.

Incidentally, Olympic champion Sarah Kolak (60.99m) and Czech Republic's Barbora Spotakova, the defending World champion and European record holder with 72.78m, finished below the Indian in the qualification round.

Annu Rani finished fifth to qualify for the women's javelin finals.

The other Indians in action on day four, Archana Suseendran and Anjali Devi failed to get past their heats. Archana's campaign in the women's 200m came to an end as she finished last in her heat (40th overall) with a timing of 23.65s, while Anjali finished sixth in her heat (36th overall) in the women's 400m heats.

Day five of the IAAF World Athletic Championships will see Annu battle it out in the javelin throw final, while Avinash Sable will also be in action in the men's 300m steeplechase.