Athletics

Asian Games 2018: Dutee, Hima, Anas make it a silver day for India

Fighter: Muhammed Anas fought off fatigue to grab the 400m silver.

Fighter: Muhammed Anas fought off fatigue to grab the 400m silver.   | Photo Credit: PTI

China’s Su Bingtian emerged fastest man in a Games record time; Lakshmanan finishes third in 10,000m, but is disqualified

She had been through hell.

Four years ago, the hyperandrogenism issue forced her out of the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. But now, with the rules allowing her to run, Dutee Chand is back with a vengeance.

Nobody gave her much of a chance in the women’s 100m but the Odisha sprinter believed in herself.

The field was strong and included China’s defending champion Wei Yongli, but the 22-year-old ran at such a scorching pace that, for a few moments, she appeared to be even in contention for a gold at the Asian Games athletics here on Sunday.

Dutee finished with a silver in 11.32s, behind Bahrain’s Odiong Edidiong (11.30s), but the medal had the sparkle of gold.

For it ended a 32-year-wait for the country, with P.T. Usha’s 1986 silver in Seoul being India’s previous best.

Sweet: Hima Das celebrates her 400m silver.

Sweet: Hima Das celebrates her 400m silver.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

However, there were no surprises in the men’s 100m. China’s Su Bingtian emerged the fastest man in a Games record (9.92s).

India had three silvers on Sunday, with the men’s and women’s 400m runners Muhammed Anas and Hima Das finishing second and the latter becoming the first Indian woman to break the 51-second barrier.

 

There could have been a bronze, too, but Tamil Nadu’s Asian champion G. Lakshmanan, who finished third in the men’s 10,000m, was disqualified for stepping outside the track. India filed a protest, but it was thrown out.

With Asian record holder Salwa Eid Naser in the fray, Hima was never in contention for gold but she grabbed the golden opportunity that came with running against the Bahraini, one of the world’s best quartermilers.

And she did not disappoint, for her time, 50.79s, broke the National record she had set on Saturday (51s) and was also better than Salwa’s Asian Games record of 50.86 that came in Incheon four years ago.

Defining moment: Dutee Chand, left, is pipped at the post by Bahrain's Edidiong Odiong, extreme right.

Defining moment: Dutee Chand, left, is pipped at the post by Bahrain's Edidiong Odiong, extreme right.   | Photo Credit: JEWEL SAMAD

 

“I learned a lot running with her (Salwa), both in the semifinal and the final. She's a perfect athlete,” said Hima. “But in the final, I was only thinking about giving my best time. I did not think of any other thing.”

The Nigeria-born Salwa, who has a personal best of 49.08s, won the gold comfortably in 50.09s, while Kazakhstan’s Elina Mikhina took the bronze in 52.63.

For Anas, it was a big struggle. Qatar’s Hassan Abdadelah was a cut above the rest and the fast-tiring Indian record-holder had to fight hard with the other Bahraini, Khamis Ali, before taking the silver in 45.69s which was slower than his personal best of 45.24s that came last month at a Czech meet.

“After about 250m, my muscles started tightening up. Perhaps, it was because of yesterday’s two hard races, but I’m happy I managed to hang on for the silver,” said Anas. Hassan took the gold in 44.89s.

“This medal is for my family back home and for the Kerala people who had suffered owing to the recent floods,” said Anas.

Meanwhile, Kerala’s junior long jumper M. Sreeshankar was close to his personal best, but his 7.95m was only good enough for sixth place.

China’s Wang Jianan (8.24m) took the gold.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 2:25:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/asian-games-2018-dutee-hima-anas-make-it-a-silver-day-for-india/article24786501.ece

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