Shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor defended his title with a superb final throw to hold off the challenge of his Saudi Arabian rival in Hangzhou on Sunday, while Avinash Sable became the first Indian man to win the gold medal in the 3000m Steeplechase at the Asian Games . Toor, the gold medalist at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, produced a mighty throw of 20.36 meters on his sixth and final attempt to surpass his Saudi rival Mohamed Daouda Tolo’s distance of 20.18 metres.
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However, Toor was unable to break his own record of 20.75 meters at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. But the 28-year-old’s final delivery was far too good for his Saudi rival to correct in his final attempt.
Sable, the 29-year-old national record holder, earned India its first gold medal in athletics, completing the race in 8:19.50 seconds.
Sable rewrote the previous Asian Games record of 8:22.79, set by Iran’s Hossein Keyhani at the 2018 Jakarta Games.
Sudha Singh had won gold in the women’s 3000m steeplechase event at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.
In the women’s 1500 metres, India’s Harmilan Bains won silver, while Ajay Kumar Saroj and Jinson Johnson won silver and bronze respectively in the men’s 1500 metres.
Earlier, the toast of the nation at the last edition, Indian heptathlete Swapna Barman’s only “last chance” at Asian Games glory turned into a nightmare as she struggled with injuries and was virtually left out of the medal count after the javelin throw.
The defending champion, who boasts a personal best of 52.55 meters in the javelin throw, achieved a throw of just 45.13 in the penultimate event of the grueling two-day competition.
Javelin throw was one of the two events Swapna had won in 2018 on his way to becoming the first Indian heptathlete to win gold at the Asian Games.
Overall, Swapna was ranked fourth with 4,840 points, 11 points behind her nearest rival Jingyi Liu of China, ahead of the 800m race, the final segment of the seven-event competition.
The other Indian in the fray, Nandini Agasara, recorded a personal best of 39.88 meters in the javelin throw, taking her overall ranking to fifth.
Earlier in the day, Swapna Barman jumped 5.71 meters in the long jump, while Nandini Agasara had the season’s best jump of 5.94 metres.
With her career ravaged by a spinal cord injury, the six-toed Indian athlete had considered retirement last year. But she took one last shot at glory and came to Hanghzou in her title defense bid.
This year, she won the Inter-State Meet and also secured a silver medal ahead of the Asian Games. She also avoided surgery to ensure she wouldn’t miss her workout despite a bad back.
“But her body condition couldn’t cope and she didn’t get a good start,” her coach Subhash Sarkar told PTI.
“She expected a good result in the high jump, but a fourth place shattered her and she couldn’t recover from that,” he added.
Swapna jumped over 1.70 meters and did not come close to her personal best of 1.87.
“The poor start has affected her morale and today’s javelin throw showed that. It’s almost over,” Sarkar said this time about Swapna’s prospects.
Earlier, India’s Amlan Borgohain finished third after clocking 21.08 seconds in the men’s 200m and advanced to the semi-finals.
The first three athletes in each heat qualify for the semi-finals. The best four times from all heats that did not make the cut will also advance to the semi-finals.
The sprinter from Assam, currently the fastest in the country, holds the national record in both the men’s 100 meters and 200 metres.
However, Jyothi Yarraji failed to reach the women’s 200m final. The Indian had a timing of 23.78 seconds.
However, Yarraji is in with a chance of winning a medal in the women’s 100 meters hurdles.
(This story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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