Vikas Gowda qualified for the men’s discus final with a throw of 65.20m in the Olympic Games on Monday.
Gowda headed group ‘A’ by nailing the automatic qualification mark of 65.0m on his second throw. The first one was 63.52. “It (first throw) slipped out of my hand,” said Gowda.
Overall, the 29-year-old was placed fifth, with defending champion Gerd Kanter of Estonia heading the other group with a 66.39. German Robert Harting came second with 66.22.
In group ‘A’, Iranian Ehsan Hadadi, Asian Games champion and Asian record holder, was second with 65.19, the only other thrower in the group to make the automatic cut-off.
In 2004 and 2008, Gowda had failed to progress beyond the qualification round. He finished seventh in the World championships last year with a throw of 64.05m. He has a best of 66.28m this season which is also his personal best and National record.
Among those who were above 66 metres in the season lists but failed to make it were Mario Pestano of Spain (63.40), Rutger Smith of the Netherlands (63.09), Martin Maric of Croatia (62.87) and Ercument Olgundeniz of Turkey (60.87).