Hima, Toor book CWG tickets

Hima Das and Tejinder Pal Singh Toor returned with impressive figures to book a ticket to Gold Coast while Sreeshankar, meanwhile, managed 7.99 metres in men's long jump – just one centimetre short of the AFI mark – but is sure to be included in the squad for the CWG.

A file photo of Neeraj Chopra. The Indian, already qualified for the CWG, managed his second best throw ever with a distance of 85.94 metres, managing to overhaul the guideline set by the Athletics Federation of India (81.80m) thrice in his four legitimate attempts.   -  Getty Images

Murali Sreeshankar came agonisingly close to the qualifying mark for the Commonwealth Games, Hima Das broke the 52-second barrier in her very first competitive outing and Neeraj Chopra reaffirmed his status as one of India's genuine world-class talents in the sport as the second day of 22nd Federation Cup athletics here added two more names to the list of those confirmed for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Chopra, already qualified for the CWG, managed his second best throw ever with a distance of 85.94 metres, managing to overhaul the guideline set by the Athletics Federation of India (81.80m) thrice in his four legitimate attempts, also bettering his own previous meet record in the process. Returning after a stint in Germany training alongside reigning world champion Johannes Vetter, the 20-year old Chopra had little in the way of competition here – his closest rivals Davindar Singh Kang suspended after a doping violation and Vipin Kasana out of action with a back injury sustained during the recent Indian Grand Prix here.

Read: NADA officials absent on first day of Federation Cup Athletics

“My main target here was to try and get my personal best mark here and also get momentum for the bigger competitions this year. I haven't decided on where to base myself for training here on, let's see. It is easier to motivate yourself and perform better when you have strong competitors to push you, which is more possible in Germany,” he said after winning gold.

He wasn't the only one to set a new meet record. Jinson Jhonson and Manjit Singh finished 1-2 in the men's 800m, both managing to better Sajeesh Joseph's mark set here four years ago, but neither was good enough to come close to the AFI standards for CWG. Hima Das and Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, though, did. Toor threw the shot out to 20.24m to book a ticket to Gold Coast.

The 18-year old Das, participating in her first 400m race since moving to the event only 4 months ago, not just won gold against much experienced rivals but also breached the 52-second mark set by the AFI with a 51.97 second run. “I earlier ran 100 and 200m but was asked to switch to 200m and 400m by the coaches. My first event was the Asian Games Test Event in Jakarta recently, where I anchored the relay team but this was even beyond my own expectations,” a struggling but ecstatic Hima said.

Also read: Seema Punia books CWG spot with top throw

Sreeshankar, meanwhile, managed 7.99 metres in men's long jump – just one centimetre short of the AFI mark – but is sure to be included in the squad for Gold Coast given his consistency and steady improvement in performance over the last few months. The first year Civil Engineering student, who also managed an impressive 97% in his exams recently, is considered among the most exciting talents in the country and, along with Chopra and high jumper Tejaswin Shankar, expected to lead the next generation of Indian athletics.

The results

Men: 100m: 1. Sivakumar (10.43s), 2. VK Elakkiyadasan (10.56s), 3. Sanjeet (10.59s); 400m: 1. Muhammad Anas Yahiya (46.13s), 2. Amoj Jacob (46.74s), 3. Kunhu Mohammed (46.85s); 800m: 1. Jinson Jhonson (1:46.32), 2. Manjit Singh (1:46.42), 3. Mohammed Afsal (1:48.17); Shot put: 1. Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (20.24m), 2. Naveen Chhikara (19.5m), 3. Alfin VP (17.46m); Long jump: 1. M. Sreeshankar (7.99m), 2. Wayne Peppin (7.6 m), Samsheer SE (7.54m); Javelin: 1. Neeraj Chopra (85.94m), 2. Amit Kumar (79.16m), Shivpal Singh (78.31m); Decathlon: 1. Amolak Singh (6797pts), 2. Suren R (6590 pts), 3. Krishna Kumar (6323 pts).

Women: 100m: 1. Dutee Chand (11.60s), 2. Prajna S. Prakash (11.81s), 3. Hina (11.83s); 400m: 1. Hima Das (51.97s), 2. Vijayakumari GK (53.03s), 3. MR Poovamma (53.38s); 800m: 1. Shipra Sarkar (2:05.75), 2. Lili Das (2:06.42), 3. Vijayakumari GK (2:07.11); Long jump: 1. Nayana James (6.51m), 2. Neena Pinto (6.28m), 3. Rintu Mathew (6.07m).

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