India’s medal hope Krishna Poonia on Friday qualified for the women’s discus throw final round in London Olympics after finishing eighth in the qualification round while her compatriot Seema Antil missed out by a whisker on the first day of track and field events in London.
Poonia began with a foul throw but regained her composure to hurl the one-kg discus to 63.54m to finish fifth in Group A and eighth overall at the showpiece Olympic Stadium.
Antil had a best effort of 61.91m, which she came up in her third and final throw, to finish 13th and missed the final round. Those who touched the qualification mark of 63.00m or the best 12 make it to the final round to be held tomorrow.
Commonwealth Games gold medalist Poonia thus became only the sixth Indian to make it to the final round of track and field events in Olympics after Milkha Singh, P T Usha, S Sriram, Gurbachan Singh Randhawa and Anju Bobby George.
The seven throwers ahead of Poonia in the qualification round were 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medalist Yarelys Barrios (65.94m) of Cuba, Nadine Muller (65.89m) of Germany, European champion Sandra Perkovic (65.74m) of Croatia, Darya Pishchalnikova (65.02m) of Russia, defending champion Stephanie Brown Trafton (64.89m) of United States, reigning world champion Li Yanfeng (64.48m) of China and former world champion Dani Samuels (63.97m) of Australia.
Poonia has a personal as well as season’s best of 64.76m, also a national record which she set in May at Hawaii in United States.
Antil, who has a season’s best of 62.60m and personal best of 64.84m, had a foul throw in her first attempt and came up with a 61.10m effort in the second.