Fed Cup: Seema Punia books CWG spot with top throw

The veteran discus thrower registered a winning mark of 61.05m, two metres more than AFI’s guideline of 59m.

Seema Punia said this was only her second 60m-plus throw in India after her personal best of 64.84m way back in 2004.   -  Special Arrangement

Seema Punia may have been out of action for a while, endured a mediocre outing in 2017 with a best throw of 54.11m at the Asian Championships, and out of the government's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). But the veteran discus thrower put it all behind to win gold at the 22nd Federation Cup here and book a ticket for herself for the 2018 Commonwealth Games next month.

Her winning mark of 61.05m was two metres more than AFI's guideline of 59m but it was her consistency that would give her confidence going into the home stretch of preparations. There was just one foul throw; two crossed the qualifying mark and two came close to it (58.71m and 58.52m). Navjeet Kaur Dhillon, who also managed to qualify at the recent Indian Grand Prix last week at the same venue, was a distant second with 57.75m.

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“We will discus with the federation and decide where to continue preparations now. I have to go to Delhi tomorrow to get injections for my knee pain. The mark could have been better today but I am struggling with my technique and it will take some time to sort it out,” Seema told Sportstar after her event.

She added that this was only her second 60m-plus throw in India after her personal best of 64.84m way back in 2004.

Targetting medal

“I am only now beginning to get back after injuries. No one can guarantee anything in sports but I hope to change the colour of my medal this time around. My main target, though, is to come back with a medal, any medal,” said the three-time CWG medallist (one bronze (2010) and two silvers (2006 and 2014)).

Day One of the competition also saw a new national record being set, though none came close to the CWG mark. Govindan Lakshmanan managed to better Kheta Ram's 2014 mark with a timing of 13:47.28 in the men's 5,000m but fell short of the AFI requirement by 22 seconds. Lakshmanan, though, has another chance when he takes to the track in the 10,000m.

His sister L. Suriya also took gold in the women's 5,000m with a timing of 15:46.96, almost 37 seconds slower than the required timing.

In men's pole vault, Siva Subramani set a new national record clearing a height of 5.15m – also a new meet record – bettering his own mark of 5.14m set at the same venue last year, but it was way below the 5.45m mark set by the AFI for CWG.

The results
  • Women
  • Discus throw: 1. Seema Punia (61.05m), 2. Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (57.75m), 3. Kirandeep Kaur (46.08m);
  • high jump: 1. Jyoti (1.76m), 2. Angela P. Devasia (1.76m), 3. Jinu Maria Manuel (1.76m);
  • hammer throw: 1. Sarita R. Singh (63.80m), 2. Gunjan Singh (56.50m), 3. Sarbjeet kaur (55.65m);
  • 5000m: 1. L. Suriya (15:46.96), 2. Swati Gadhave (16:07.63), 3. Aarti Patil (16:27.39)
  • Men
  • 5000m: 1. Govindan Lakshmanan (13:47.28), 2. Suresh Kumar (13:49.51), 3. Gavit Murli (14:03.04);
  • pole vault: 1. Siva Subramani (5.15m), 2. Anuj (5.10m), 3. Kundan Singh (5.00m).

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