Shot putters Abha Khatua, who gave up Heptathlon to focus on one event, and Tajinderpal Singh Toor grabbed the spotlight in the inaugural National Open Throws Competition 2022 at the Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports complex here on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Abha Khatua became only the third Indian woman Shot Putter to breach the 17m mark when she claimed gold with a 17.09m effort. The Bengal-born joined two Manpreet Kaurs, separated by a six-year age gap, in the 17m Club. More significantly, she went past the Asian Games qualifying standard laid down by the Athletics Federation of India.
Manpreet Kaur, the National record holder who has gone past the 17m mark in 10 competitions between 2015 and 2017, finished second on Sunday with 16.74m. The 31-year-old produced her best effort since returning last year.
Tajinderpal Singh Toor, 27, opened the Asian Games year with a winning effort of 19.94m to expectedly claim gold. Each of his three valid attempts saw would have won him the title on Sunday when Karanveer Singh’s best was 19.17m. Tajinderpal Singh Toor will have reasons to be happy with his early season form.
Sarita R Singh was in a league of her own, going past the 60m mark for the first time since the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. The 32-year-old followed her winning throw of 61.78m on her fourth attempt with two throws of 61.30m and 60.25 to come away with satisfaction, though the Asian Games qualifying standard of 63.00m would have to wait for another day.
Rohit Yadav, 21, raised his game to secure a memorable victory over Sahil Silwal in the men’s Javelin Throw competition. Trailing the Haryana athlete after four rounds, Rohit Yadav came up with efforts of 77.68m and 77.89m with his final two efforts to leave Sahil Silwal, elder by three weeks, with the silver medal.
Sanjana Choudhary, who had a series of second-place finishes last year, won the women’s Javelin Throw with 52.41m to edge the experiences Sharmila Kumari to silver medal spot while Seema Antil won the women’s Discus Throw with a best effort of 54.93m and Mahipal Singh’s opening throw of 54.80m in the men’s Hammer Throw was good to assure him the gold.
AFI Chief Coach Radhakrishnan Nair pointed out that none of the athletes reduced his or her load ahead of this competition at the start of the new season. He also said the athletes would have to attain or be close to the qualifying standards in the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships 2022 to be held from June 10 to 14 to be considered for selection.
Shot Put: 1. Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Punjab) 19.94m; 2. Karanveer Singh (Punjab) 19.17; 3. Aniket (Uttarakhand) 17.63.
Discus Throw: 1. Arjun (Delhi) 53.28m; 2. Parshant Malik (Haryana) 50.39; 3. Arvind Rathee (Haryana) 50.25.
Hammer Throw: 1. Mahipal Singh Yadav (Madhya Pradesh) 54.80m; 2. Dupinder Singh (Haryana) 54.43; 3. Chetan (Haryana) 51.51.
Javelin Throw: 1. Rohit Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) 77.89m; 2. Sahil Silwal (Haryana) 77.01; 3. Rishabh Nehra (Uttar Pradesh) 72.60.
Shot Put: 1. Abha Khatua (Maharashtra) 17.09m; 2. Manpreet Kaur (Haryana) 16.74m; 3. Kachnar Chaudhary (Rajasthan) 14.35.
Discus Throw: 1. Seema Antil (Uttar Pradesh) 54.93m; 2. Nidhi Rani (Haryana) 51.85; 3. Sunita (Haryana) 48.05.
Hammer Throw: 1. Sarita R Singh (Uttar Pradesh) 61.78m; 2. Preeti Sharawat (Uttar Pradesh) 47.06; 3. Maninderjit Kaur (Punjab) 45.00.
Javelin Throw: 1. Sanjana Choudhary (Rajasthan) 52.41m, 2. Sharmila Kumari (Haryana) 51.40, 3. Shakshi Sharma (Uttar Pradesh) 45.98.