Asian Athletics: Manpreet, Lakshmanan make it a golden day

Shot putter Manpreet Kaur made her Asian Athletics Championships debut memorable by winning the country’s first gold medal. Tamil Nadu’s G. Laksmanan won the day’s second gold, with a strong finish in the men’s 5000m.

India's Manpreet Kaur after winning the shot put gold at the Asian Athletics Championship 2017 in Bhubaneswar.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

She took a long break after the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games, got married and had a daughter. The long lay-off did Manpreet Kaur a world of good. Almost a year after her return, she broke the national record and on Thursday evening, the shot putter from Patiala made her Asian Athletics Championships debut a memorable one by winning the country’s first gold medal on her 27th birthday here.

Tamil Nadu’s G. Laksmanan, who had won silver and bronze at the last Asians, won the day’s second gold, with a strong finish in the men’s 5000m.

India's G. Lakshmanan celebrates his win in the 5000m event at the Asian Athletics Championship 2017 in Bhubaneswar.   -  Biswaranjan Rout



For nearly an hour this evening, every corner of the Kalinga Stadium promised a medal. Two cheerful girls V. Neena and Nayana James, both from Kerala, emerged from the long jump pit with silver and bronze and discus thrower Vikas Gowda brushed away the disappointment of having to prove himself in a trial by bringing a bronze. Two more bronzes, both in the women’s section, came through Sanjivani Jadhav (5000m) and javelin thrower Annu Rani.

“This gold was expected, I was sure of it,” said Manpreet who had qualified for next month’s London Worlds earlier. “This is my second best throw in a competition and I am very happy. My husband and family supported me all through.”

Manpreet’s golden throw, the 18.28m, came with her third attempt. She had just two legal throws, and her last three were all fouls, but she had the medal that mattered.



Vietnam’s Bui Thi Thu who also had just two legal jumps – her first and last – won the women’s long jump gold though she and Neena had similar 6.54m bests. But the Vietnamese had a better second jump (6.44, her last) compared to Neena’s 6.32 and that was her lucky card.

“A little more and I could have got the gold still, I’m very happy,” said Neena. For Nayana, it was her debut in an international championship.

Vikas Gowda must have gone through a range of emotions but he did not appear bitter.

“I always try to use a bit of emotion when I throw but sometimes, it hurts more than helps. But I’m happy with this after all the injuries I had gone through the last two years,” said the 34-year-old, who once again lost the battle against Ehsan Hadadi, the 2012 Olympics silver medallist and three-time Asian Games champion.



Meanwhile, men’s 400m national record holder Muhammed Anas brushed the injury fears and entered the men’s 400m final (45.48s). Joining him in the final were Delhi’s young Amoj Jacob (46.40) and Tamil Nadu’s Asian Games bronze medallist Arokia Rajiv (46.41). All the three women’s quartermilers entered here – Nirmala Sheoran, M.R. Poovamma and Jisna Mathew – also moved to the final.  And with the Bahrain stars missing, there could be more good news for the Indians in the next few days here. 


The results

Men: 5000m: 1. G. Lakshmanan (Ind) 14:54.48s, 2. Yaser Salem (Qat) 14:55.89, 3. S. Tariq Ahmed (KSA) 14:56.83, 6. Murli Kumar Gavit (Ind) 15:02.43.

Pole vault: 1. Ding Bang Chao (Chn) 5.65m, 2. Masaki Ejima (5.65), 3. Ernest John Obiena (Phi) 5.50. (G. Siva, Ind, no mark).

Discus throw: 1. Ehsan Hadadi (Irn) 64.54m, 2. Muhammed Irfan (Mal) 60.96, 3. Vikas Gowda (60.81), 11. Dharmaraj Yadav (Ind) 54.53, 13. Kripal Singh (Ind) 53.64.


5000m: 1. Daria Maslova (Kgz) 15:57.95s, 2. Alia Mohammed (UAE) 15:59.95, 3. Sanjivani Jadhav (Ind) 16:00.24, 4. L. Suriya (Ind) 16.01.96.

Long jump: 1. Bui Thi Thu (Vie) 6.54, 2. V. Neena (Ind) 6.54, 3. Nayana James (Ind) 6.42, 8. G. Karthika (Ind) 5.96.

Shot put: 1. Manpreet Kaur (Ind) 18.28m, 2. Guo Tianqian (Chn) 17.91, 3. Aya Ota (Jpn) 15.45, 5. Anamika Das (Ind) 14.96, 6. Ramanpreet Kaur (Ind) 14.91.

Women’s javelin throw: 1. Li Lingwei (Chn) 63.06m, 2. Nadeesha Dilhani (Sri) 58.11, 3. Annu Rani (Ind) 57.32, 8. Poonam Rani (Ind) 52.56, 10. Suman Devi (Ind) 50.90.

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