Asian Athletics Championships: Gomathi, Tajinder bag gold medals; Indian medal tally at 10

Gomathi Marimuthu won India's first gold medal of the Asian Athletics Championships 2019, finishing the 800m final with a personal best timing of 2:20.70s and Tajinder Singh Toor followed it up with a gold in men's shot put.

Tajinder Singh Toor in action at the Asian Athletic Championships in Doha on Monday. He went on to bag the gold medal with a season's best throw of 20.26m.   -  Twitter @afiindia

Gomathi Marimuthu and Tajinder Singh Toor won gold medals in women's 800m and men's shot put, respectively, as India finished with 10 medals on the second day of the Asian Athletics Championships 2019 here on Monday.

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India also won a silver and two bronze medals on the day, but medal prospect Dutee Chand finished fifth in the women's 100m final after breaking the national record in the semifinal. Jinson Johnson and Rajiv Arokia also missed out on medals in the men's 800m and 400m event respectively.

Day 2 Asian Athletics Championships: As it happened

Gomathi ran the race of her life, one with a smart strategy too, as she fought her way from the back of the pack and shocked the field to take the women’s 800m honours. It was the 30-year-old Tamil Nadu athlete’s first major gold. She made her move on the back straight and then, midway through the home stretch, with the two leading runners virtually blocking her, she smartly moved to the outer lane and surprised Kazakhstan's Margarita Mukasheva and China’s Wang Chunyu to take the precious medal with a personal best timing of 2:02.70s. Her previous best (2:03.21) came with the Federation Cup gold recently in Patiala.

“I expected a medal, not the gold,” said Gomathi after her race. 

There was more joy later as Asian Games champion Tajinder Pal Singh Toor, the favourite, secured the men’s shot put gold with an opening-round throw of 20.22m, his best this season.  “I started well but lost the rhythm in between. A throw beyond 21m is the target, will be happy if that comes at the Worlds,” said Tajinder.

Gomathi Marimuthu celebrates after winning gold at the Asian Athletic Championships in Doha on Monday.   -  Twitter @afiindia

 

Like Gomathi, javelin thrower Shivpal Singh also threw up a big surprise, producing a huge 86.23m effort that fetched him the men’s silver. Shivpal’s effort was nearly four metres more than his previous best of 82.56m that came at last month’s Federation Cup at Patiala. It also made the 23-year-old the second best Indian in the event, after Neeraj, the Asiad and Commonwealth Games gold medallist who pulled out with an elbow strain. Taipei’s Chao-Tsun Cheng won the gold with a world-leading effort of 86.72.

- Jabir, Saritaben bag bronze -

M. P. Jabir and Saritaben Gayakwad, in the men’s and women’s 400m hurdles, returned with bronze after impressive performances. Jabir’s hurdles bronze came in a personal best 49.13s while Saritaben, who clocked 57.2s, was engaged in a fighting finish that pushed her from fourth to third.

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Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba, the favourite, won the men’s gold in a world-leading 47.51s while Vietnam's Thi Lan Quach took the women’s title in 56.10s. 

- 400m disappointment -

But there were major disappointments too. Muhammed Anas and Arokia Rajiv, who had coasted to a gold and silver finish in the men’s 400m at the last Asians in Bhubaneswar, finished with nothing around their neck.

Arokia (45.37s) appeared to be in the medal zone towards the end but was beaten to the bronze by Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Litvin (45.25) while Kuwait’s Yousef Karam (44.84s) and Bahrain’s Abbas Abubaker (45.14) took the gold and silver. Anas finished last with a timing of 46.10s.

- Jinson drops out -

In the men’s 800m, Asiad silver medallist Jinson dropped out near the last curve in the final after appearing to have pulled a muscle. Qatar’s Abdalla Abubaker won the gold with a world-leading time of 1:44.33s. 

- Dutee makes national record but no medal -

Dutee broke her own national record for the second successive day, bringing it down from 11.28 to 11.26s in the semifinal but she went without a medal in the final, finishing fifth in 11.44s.

And in the men’s triple jump, where Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Kurbanov surprised China’s Yaming to take the gold with 16.93m, Tamil Nadu’s Praveen Chithravel could not produce a single legal jump and finished with a ‘no mark’ against his name.