Tokyo 2020: Allman's dance in women's discus throw; Kamalpreet sixth

India's Kamalpreet Kaur finished sixth in women's discus throw at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday. America's Valarie Allman won gold with her first round throw of 68.98m.

India's Kamalpreet Kaur in action.   -  AFP

As a little girl, American Valarie Allman was a very good dancer and she excelled in ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dance. Impressed with her height and coordination, her high school coach advised her to take up athletics. She attempted the sprints and high jump and came to discus throw by accident, trying the event with an eye on the throwers' annual spaghetti dinner.

Allman danced her way to the discus throw gold with an opening-round effort of 68.98m that left the others fighting for minor medals at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.

Indian hearts were wildly dancing too but in the end, Kamalpreet Kaur – who had raised hopes of bringing the country's first-ever Olympic medal in athletics – finished sixth with a third-round 63.70m on a rainy night which left the throwing circle slippery midway through and the throwers were given a short break.

On to Neeraj now

Kamalpreet's national record 66.59m, which came in the Indian GP in June, would have fetched her the bronze. But that was not to be and the country will now be hoping that javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who begins his campaign on August 4, ends the long wait.

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The 25-year-old Kamalpreet's other two legal throws were 61.62 and 61.37. The Punjab athlete's performance equalled Krishna Poonia's sixth place at the 2012 Olympics, the best by an Indian discus thrower.

German Kristin Pudenz (66.86m) and Cuba's World champion Yaime Perez (65.72) took the silver and bronze.

Dutee disappoints

Meanwhile Dutee Chand (PB: 23s, 2018 Asiad silver) finished last in her heat, and 38th overall, in the women's 200m in 23.85s. It was her first 200m this year.

Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou, this season's world leader with 8.60m, took the men's long jump title with a last-round effort of 8.41m. That put him on level with Juan Miguel Echevarria’s third round effort but the Greek triumphed as his next best jump (8.15) was better than the Cuban's (8.09).

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“What an incredible competition. What an incredible jump, the last jump. I wasn't able to get it right at the start. But in the end, I managed to pull something out to get the medal,” said Tentoglou.

Another Cuban, Maykel Masso, was third with 8.21m. The fact that M. Sreeshankar's national record of 8.26m, that came earlier this year, is better than the bronze show will hurt Indians for long.

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Later, Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali ended Kenya's winning streak by taking the men's 3000m steeple chase gold (8:08.90s) while Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma and Kenya's Benjamin picked the other two medals.

Sifan takes first of three

And Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan, who is aiming for a distance treble, won her first, the 5000m in 14:36.79s after a patient waiting game while Jasmine Camacho-Quinn took the women's 100m hurdles for Puerto Rico’s first Olympic gold in athletics with American world record-holder Kendra Harrison behind her.

Tajinderpal Singh Toor, in men's shot put, and Annu Rani, in women's javelin throw, will be in action on Tuesday.

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