IAAF Athletics World Championships: PU Chitra clocks PB, but falls short of 1500m semis

PU Chitra clocked a personal best, but it wasn't enough to earn her a berth in the semis of the 1500m event at the World Athletics Championships.

P. U. Chitra finished 30th overall in the women's 1500m heats at the IAAF World Athletics Championships on Wednesday.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Asian champion P.U. Chitra clocked a personal best of 4:11.10s to finish eighth in the women's 1500m heats, but it was not enough to fetch her a semifinal berth at the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 in Doha on Wednesday.

Chitra was in action in the second heat and the pace there was so slow that 10 of the 11 runners in the opening heat were faster than the second heat's winner. That suited the Indian, who was at the back of the pack for a major part of the race, and yet she was able to pull out a personal best, bettering her 4:11.55 that came in the inter-State Nationals in Guwahati last year, though she could only finish 30th overall.

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The top six from each of the three heats and the next six fastest qualified for the semifinal and while almost the entire bunch made the cut from the opening heat, just six qualified from Chitra's group.

Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan, who is attempting an unprecedented 10,000m-1500m double here after taking the gold in the longer event a few days ago, was the fastest overall in 4:03.88s while Sweden's Yolanda Ngarambre (4:09.22) was the slowest qualifier.