Monday, May 20, 2024

National Inter-State Athletics: Punjab shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor improves his Asian record to 21.77m

India’s 2018 Jakarta Asian Games champion in men’s shot put Tajinderpal Singh Toor hogged the limelight on the final day of the 62nd National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championship here on Monday as he erased the Asian record.

He was declared Best Male Athlete and was successful in qualifying for the Budapest World Athletics Championship. Jyothi Yarraji emerged as the Best Female Athlete of the meet.

The international shot putter from Punjab recorded a 21.77m throw in his third attempt to improve his Asian record of 21.49m set at Indian Grand Prix 4 held at Patiala on 21-06-2021. Toor has also won the gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia with an effort of 20.75m.

“My training had gone as per plan and I was prepared to go past the 21m barrier,” the elated thrower said after etching his name in record books on Monday. “My next plan is to break the 22m barrier.”

Tajinderpal Singh Toor began his record-breaking campaign with an opening throw of 21.09m. His second attempt was no mark, while he hurled the iron ball to 21.77m in his third throw. The Asian Games qualification mark in men’s shot put is 19m, while the Budapest World Athletics Championship qualification mark is 21.40m.

With Toor surging ahead, Punjab’s Karanveer Singh won silver with a throw of 19.78m, while Delhi’s Sahib Singh took bronze with a distance of 18.75m.

Away from the throwing arena, Delhi’s promising middle distance runner KM Chanda outduelled more fancied runner Harmilan Bains to win the women’s 800m race.

In an exciting sprint finish, the top three runners achieved the Hangzhou Asian Games qualification time of 2:04.57 seconds. However, it was Chanda who stole the limelight, winning gold with a time of 2:03.82 seconds. The Silver went to Harmilan (2:04.04 secs), while Madhya Pradesh’s KM Deeksha won bronze with a time of 2:04.35 secs.

Chanda in the post-race interaction said she did her homework to win the race on Monday. “My race strategy was to surge ahead at the bell and push hard until the finish line,” Chanda said. “I’m happy to have executed my plans in the race today.”

Chanda had also won bronze in the women’s 1500m.

The women’s 400m hurdles witnessed an intense battle for gold. In the rush for the first position both R. Vithya Ramraj of Tamil Nadu and Sinchal Kaveramma T.R. from Karnataka, winner of gold and silver, respectively, dipped below the Asian Games qualification time of 57.48 secs.

Vithya was extremely happy with her gold-winning time of 56.01 seconds. “My next target is to break the 56 seconds barrier,” she added.

India’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in women’s javelin throw, Annu Rani also booked a berth for the 2023 Asian Games. Her gold medal-winning throw of 58.22m was better than the Asian Games qualification mark of 56.46m.

It was Annu’s second domestic competition of this season and she was hopeful of improving her performance in the next event. “I should be able to cross the 60m mark at next month’s Asian Athletics Championship in Bangkok,” the international thrower said.

The contest for the gold medal in women’s long jump was between Kerala’s Ancy Sojan and the promising athlete Shaili Singh of Uttar Pradesh. Both pushed each other, but it was Ancy, who claimed gold with a jump of 6.51m, while Shaili’s best of the day was 6.49m. Both Ancy and Shaili booked berths for the Asian Games.

K.M. Rachna and Tanya Chaudhary, winners of gold and silver medal in women’s hammer throw, respectively, were also successful in bagging Asian Games tickets.

Haryana’s teenage jumper Pooja scaled 1.80m to win gold in the women’s high jump and equal the Asian Games mark of 1.80m.

Assam’s Amlan Borgohain sprinted home to win gold in the men’s 200m. His performance of 20.71 seconds was better than the 23-year-old meet record of 20.80 secs, but he fell short of the Asian Games qualification time of 20.61 secs.

Rohit Yadav of Uttar Pradesh won the men’s javelin throw gold, while Murali Sreeshankar won the men’s long jump gold.

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