Shot putter Om Prakash Singh and triple jumper Mayookha Johny could not raise their levels of performance to the desired heights as they bowed out of the Olympics athletics with modest performances on Friday.
As the athletics competitions made a start on Friday with the men’s shot put qualification round, there could have been big expectations from Om Prakash.
The 25-year-old Haryana athlete opened with a 19.40 then went up to 19.86, but that was what he managed. His last throw was a foul. It was not a bad effort, but well below his best of 20.69m this season, and also below the level that was required.
The least that a qualifier putted happened to be 20.25m on Friday.
Incidentally, that was by Chinese Taipei’s Chang Ming-Huang, the bronze medallist at the last Asian Games, He was the only Asian to make it through to the final here.
Mayookha had also spoke of aiming for her best and making an attempt to qualify for the triple jump final. She had 13.77, 13.68 and 13.62 in her three attempts in the qualification round where she finished 13th in her group and 22nd overall.
She had a standard of 14.11m in triple jump, her national record, achieved in the Asian championships in Kobe last year.
Asian record holder Olga Rypakova, after being in a spot with only a 13.99 in her second attempt after a foul, headed the qualifiers into the final with a 14.79m.
Only three others — Jamaican Kimberly Williams, World indoor champion Yamille Aldama of Britain and Caterina Ibarguen of Columbia, bronze medallist in Daegu Worlds — reached the automatic qualification mark of 14.40m.
World champion Olha Saladuha of Ukraine had 14.35 while Russian Tatyana Lebedeva had 14.30.
Britain, meanwhile, had a rollicking start as the former World champion Jessica Ennis led the heptathlon field after two events, running the fastest time recorded in the 100m hurdles in heptathlon, at 12.54s. She cleared 1.86m in high jump to reach a total of 2249 points.
Backed by a wind of 1.3 metres per second, Ennis ran brilliant race, and was followed by four others who also went under 13 seconds.
Reese Hoffa of the US led in men’s shot put qualifying rounds by reaching 21.35 metres, and was followed by the reigning World champion David Storl of Germany at 21.15 metres, and the Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland who recorded 21.03m.
Former European champion Ralf Bartels of Germany and Beijing Games bronze medallist Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus did not make the cut.
Beijing silver medallist and former World champion Christian Cantwell of the US made it to the final as a non-automatic qualifier but had the distinction of being the first athlete to be in action at the London Games as he was the first man to go into the ring for the first event of the programme.
Javier Culson of Paraguay was the fastest man in the 400m hurdles heats with 48.33 seconds, while World champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana was the quickest in the women’s 400m heats with 50.40.
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France was the fastest man in the three heats, clocking 8:16.23.
All three of the top Kenyans Abel Kiprop Mutai, Brimin Kipruto and Ezekiel Kemboi also eased into the final.