India returns with two silvers and a bronze on the third day of the 16th Asian junior athletics championships in Taipei City

Middle-distance runner Jessy Joseph missed the gold medal by a whisker as India returned with two silvers and a bronze on the third day of the 16th Asian junior athletics championships in Taipei City on Saturday.

The coveted gold medal eluded Indians for the third consecutive day after Joseph, a trainee of P.T. Usha, had to settle for a silver despite her best efforts.

Kerala’s Joseph, forced to run two races of 800m distance on the same day, was locked in an unexpected battle with Kyrgyzstan’s Kseniia Faiskanova in the morning’s heats.

They both registered an identical time of 2:11.55 in the second heat, while Japan’s Ryoko Hirano was top in first heat clocking 2:12.60.

However Hirano, credited with a personal best of 2:05.16 since 2012, made things difficult for the Kerala girl and Jessy made a gallant effort to stick with her throughout the final race on the evening.

At the end, Hirano had an ‘edge’ of two-hundredth of a second over the Indian (2:06.75 to 2:06.77) for the title.

India’s Archana Adhav joined Jessy on the podium with her third place finish in 2:09.11.

Japanese high school champion Mako Fukube, 18, won the 100m hurdles in a modest 13.98 secs.

Meghana Shetty, who hails from Karnataka, returned a personal best 14.09 secs for the silver while Singapore’s Wong Min Jannah made the podium with 14.14s.

To the disappointment of everyone in the Indian camp, discus thrower Sachin Dalal Singh failed to get a medal.

Having recently set a national junior record of 58.11m at Chennai, Sachin was expected to make waves in Taipei but he could not perform as expected and managed only 55.41m to finish fourth.

Iraq’s Arabian junior champion Mustafa Dagher Alsaamah justified his billing by taking the top spot with a decent 59.35m throw. China’s Yang Jing-Kai (57.49m) and Malaysian Muhammad Irfan Shamshuddin (56.07m) were the other medalists.

Ace Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand emerged the fastest qualifier in 200m by clocking 23.57 secs. However, her teammate Himashree Roy (24.94s) failed to advance for tomorrow’s finals.

In the men’s 200m qualifying rounds, Iran’s Mohammad Hossein Abareghi, who won the 100m bronze yesterday, improved the championship record with a time of 20.63 secs.

Other meet records came from 110m hurdles (13.33 secs by Taio Kanai of Japan) and junior women’s 3000m steeplechase (10:27.29 by Oanh Neguyen Thi of Vietnam).

Chinese athletes were 1-2 in long jump with Li Xiao-Hong taking the gold with a leap of 6.27m, followed by Rong Wang in 6.15m.

Teams from Japan (39.49 secs) and China (45.34s) emerged victorious in 4x100m relay for junior men and junior women divisions respectively.

China and Japan are leading in the medals table with 10 gold medals each at the end of third and penultimate day of the championships.

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