Athletics

Montsho gives Botswana a reason to celebrate

Not good enough: Tejaswnini Shankar, figuring in the long jump final, finished joint sixth with a best of 2.24m, nowhere near his personal best of 2.28m.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Asmantle Montsho powering her way in the women’s 400m gold in the athletics events of the Games here on Wednesday gave a solid reason for the Botswana delegation to go on a wild celebration.

It was only 24 hours earlier, that compatriot Isaac Makwala had won the corresponding race in the men’s section thus making history as the first country to have a 400m double in the Games. Winner of the gold medal in New Delhi 2010 and the 2011 world champion Montsho clocked her quickest time in five years — 50.15s.

Jamaicans Anastasia Le-Roy in 50.57s and defending champion Stephenie McPherson in 50.93s took the silver and the bronze. India’s Hima Das produced a personal best of 51.32s to finish sixth. The first Indian woman athlete to compete in track final in the Games, the teenager from Assam had clocked 51.53s in the semifinals on Tuesday.

The only other track final of the day — the women’s 3000m steeplechase — saw the Kenyan dominance finally being broken. And this was done by Maximila Imal Aisha Praught (Jamaica) who caught up with pre-final favourite Celliphine Chespol and overtook her in the final bend to get home in 9:21.00.

Hima Das produced a personal best of 51.32s to finish sixth .

Hima Das produced a personal best of 51.32s to finish sixth .   | Photo Credit: SAEED KHAN

 

Chespol, the World under-20 record holder, finished second clocking 9:22.61, while Purity Kuru, the 2014 gold medallist was in third at 9:25.74.

Host Australia had plenty to cheer before the night ran out as Kathryn Mitchell, in her fourth Games, went on to complete an emphatic win the women’s javelin throw — unleashing the longest throw in the world for five years — 68.92m.

Kelsey-Lee Roberts made it 1-2 for the home team with a final round effort of 63.89m, leaving South African Sunette Viljoen with the bronze with a best of 62.08.

Brandon Starc — the younger brother of Australian cricketer Mitchell Clark — produced a personal best of 2.32m and take the men’s high jump gold. Brandon cleared the height in his first attempt itself to gave his country its first ever title in the event after a gap of 24 years. Jamal Wilson (Bahamas) took silver with a first time clearance of 2.30m and Django Lovett (Canada) ended up with the bronze, jumping the same height in his third attempt.

Tejaswnini Shankar, figuring in the final, was placed joint sixth with a best of 2.24m, nowhere near his personal best of 2.28m.

Nayana James and V. Neena, the other Indians to be seen in action, made it to the final of women’s long jump with efforts of 6.34m and 6.24m in the absence of there being adequate jumpers to have crossed the qualifying mark of 6.60m.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 11:48:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/montsho-gives-botswana-a-reason-to-celebrate/article23505185.ece

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