Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur and javelin thrower Shivpal Singh starred on the opening day of the 23rd Federation Cupin Patiala on Friday, as they assured themselves of a place in the 2019 Asian Championships by meeting the qualification guidelines set by the Athletics Federation of India.
Kamalpreet Kaur earned her spot in the Asian Championships squad over the course of her discus throw event at the National Institute of Sport. The 21-year-old, who had finished fifth at the 2017 edition of the tournament earned the right to improve on that result with her second throw of the day. With the qualifying standard set at 58.50m, Kaur flung the iron disc a distance of 58.97m. She would go on to improve on that mark with her final throw of the competition which was measured at 60.25m.
“I thought I could have thrown more than 61meters but I was still recovering from an injury in my lower back,” Kaur said after her competition.
Her effort was more than enough to get in front of the field, with Commonwealth Games bronze medallistNavjeet Dhillon claiming second place with a best throw of 56.36m. The Punjab athlete recorded that mark with her first throw of the competition but failed to improve on that effort over her remaining six throws of the competition. Bengal’s Suravi Biswas clinched the bronze medal with a best throw of 47.98m.
There was no medal for javelin thrower Shivpal Singh whose effort of meeting the AFI’s qualification guideline of 80.75m came in the qualifying round of his event. Singh recorded a throw of 81.85m with his very first throw to earn the qualification spot. Singh though might well be joined by more athletes in earning a quota places, with Rajender Singh throwing the javelin a distance of 76.31m in the qualification round. Asian Championships bronze medalist Davinder Kang threw the javelin 71.53m to be part of the 12 athletes to make it to the final round.
Another creditable performance came in the men’s pole vault event, where National Record holder S Siva set a new meet record by clearing a height of 5.16m. He erased the previous meet record of 5.15m that he had set at the same competition last year. Siva attempted a new national record of 5.31m but failed on all three of his events. He also missed out on the qualification standard of 5.40m that had been set by the AFI. Siva was the standout performer in his event, with the silver medal being awarded to Dhirendra Kumar of Uttar Pradesh who cleared a height of 4.70m. Bineesh Jacob of Kerala cleared the same height but took bronze because he had more fouled attempts.
There was also a tie for first place in the women’s high jump competition with BS Supriya of Karnataka and Rubina Yadav of Haryana clearing an identical height of 1.78m. The Karnataka athlete would claim the gold medal because she had made fewer fouled attempts to get to that height. Abhinaya Shetty of Karnataka would take the bronze medal with a best jump of 1.75m.
A surprise was in store in the women’s 5000m race with Parul Chaudhary of Uttar Pradesh winning gold medal ahead of Loganathan Suriya of Tamil Nadu. Chaudhary clocked a time of 15.58.35 to get the better of Suriya who clocked a time of 16.03.15. Maharashtra’s Sanjivani Jadhav clocked a time of 16.04.58 to clinch the bronze medal.