Asian Athletics Championships: Annu Rani and Avinash Sable clinch silver, Indians bag five medals

India's campaign at the Asian Athletics Championships got off to an eventful start as the country bagged two silver medals and three bronze medals on Sunday.

Annu Rani celebrates after winning the silver medal in the women's javelin throw event at the Asian Athletic Championships on Sunday.   -  Twitter @afiindia

Annu Rani brushed away her Jakarta Asian Games disappointment by pocketing the silver medal in the women’s javelin throw, while Avinash Sable also won silver in the men’s 3000m steeple chase at the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium here on Sunday night.

India ended the first day with two silver medals and three bronze medals.

DAY ONE: AS IT HAPPENED

Annu opened with a 60.22m throw, her best for the day, and finished behind China’s Asian record holder Lyu Huihui, who broke the championships record with her second round effort of 65.83m. The other Indian, Sharmila Kumari, finished seventh with 54.48m.

National record-holder Avinash came up with strong finishing kick as he took the steeplechase silver in 8:30.19s, behind Bahrain’s John Kibet who won the gold in 8:25.87s.

 

- Poovamma, Parul and Murli win bronze -

M. R. Poovamma won bronze in the women’s 400 with a timing of 53.2s. Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser, the World Championships silver medallist and Asiad champion, won the gold in 51.34s while Kazakhstan’s Elina Mikhina took the silver in 53.19. Poovamma had clocked a faster 52.46s in the morning’s semifinal.

Parul Chaudhary improved her personal best by more than 20 seconds to win the women’s 5000m bronze. Sanjivani Jadhav, a silver medallist at the 2017 World University Games, appeared to be in medal contention with about two laps to go, but Parul, the Federation Cup champion, slipped past her teammate in the final lap to clinch the bronze behind the two Bahrainians Windred Mutile Yavi and Bontu Rebitu.

“I’m very happy, the weather was good and I got a personal best,” said the 24-year-old Parul, who clocked 15:36.03s.

Murli Kumar Gavit was the third Indian to clinch a bronze medal on Sunday as he recorded a personal best timing of 28:38.34s in the men's 10,000m final.

- Dutee breaks national record -

Dutee Chand broke her own national record to qualify for the women’s 100m semifinal in the morning. Dutee was the fastest qualifier and clocked 11.28s in the heats, breaking her previous national record of 11.29s set in Guwahati last year.

Tamil Nadu’s Arokia Rajiv and defending champion Muhammed Anas of Kerala secured their spots in the men’s 400m final. Rajiv won his heat with a timing of 45.96s, while Anas was fifth in his group with 46.10s and still managed to make the cut.

Jinson Johnson also made the semifinal in the men’s 800, after finishing second in his heat behind host Qatar’s Abdalla Abubaker in 1:50.65s.

Meanwhile, Gomathi Marimuthu entered the women’s 800m final as she finished second in her heats, clocking 2:04.96s, while M.P. Jabir finished fifth (50.15s) in the men’s 400m hurdles heats and also moved to the final.

Praveen Chithravel advanced to the men’s triple jump final after finishing ninth in the qualification round with a jump of 15.66m. China’s Zhu Yaming, who produced an indoor 17.35m back home in February, led the qualifiers with 16.52m.

- Hima suffers back injury -

However, there was a major setback for the Indian contingent as junior World champion and Asian Games silver medallist Hima Das failed to finish the women’s 400m semifinal. The 19-year-old suffered back pain and had to pull out midway. Hima is also the national record holder with a timing of 50.79s, which she clocked at the Jakarta Asian Games last year.

Deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair said the doctors who attended to Hima said there was “nothing serious” and she would be okay in a day or two, offering hope that Hima could participate in the 4x400m relays.