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Vikas Gowda and Lalita Babar strike gold

Lakshmanan adds the 10,000m silver to his 5,000m bronze

Vikas Gowda was far away from his season’s best but still retained his men’s discus throw title at the 21st Asian athletics championships here on Saturday. There was more joy for India with Lalita Babar winning the 3,000m steeplechase, her maiden Asian gold.

G. Lakshmanan took the men’s 10,000m silver to add to the 5,000m bronze he had won earlier.

With Iran’s Ehsan Hadadi, the 2012 London Olympics silver medallist who completed a hat-trick of Asian Games titles in Incheon last year, not in the best of form and fitness this season — he had a ‘no-mark’ against his name here — Gowda had it easy though he was not anywhere close to his 65.75m which came in the USA in April.

His day’s best 62.03m came in his last attempt.

Miles behind was Kuwait’s Eisa Zankawi with a 61.57 for silver.

Lalita, the Asian Games bronze medallist, booked her ticket to Rio winning the women’s steeplechase gold in 9:34.13s. It was an Asian meet record, Indian national record and a personal best for the international who celebrated her 26th birthday just four days ago.

Lalita’s timing was a lot better than the Rio Olympics qualifying standard of 9:45s. She had won the National Games gold in 9:42.63 in Thiruvananthapuram in February but the Olympics qualification gates opened only on May 1.

With Tintu Luka topping the women’s 800m qualifiers (2:06.33s) into the final and Gomathi also making the grade (eighth overall in the semifinals, 2:11.14), there should be more good news for India on Sunday, the championship’s concluding day.

Jinson Johnson (1:51.55s) booked a berth in the men’s 800 final as the seventh fastest while Dharambir Singh, the country’s quickest this year, entered the 200m as third fastest qualifier with 20.87s.

Qatar’s Femi Ogunode, who had shattered the Asian 100m record earlier, broke the championship record in the 200m semifinals.

In javelin, Davinder Singh (71.28m) and Neeraj Chopra (70.50) came eighth and ninth respectively, and in the men’s 3,000m steeple chase, Jaiveer Singh (8:52.16) was fifth and Naveen Kumar (9:12.72) seventh.

Anu Raghavan missed a medal while finishing fourth in the women’s 400m hurdles in a personal best 57.79s.

Bahrain’s Nigeria-born Kemi Adekoya, clocked a world-leading time of 54.31s to win gold.

The results: Men: 10,000m: 1. Elhassan El Abbassi (Brn) 28:50.71s, 2. G. Lakshmanan (Ind) 29:42.81, 3. Andrey Petrov (Uzb) 30:20.88. 400m hurdles: 1. Konishi Yuta (Jpn) 49.56s, 2. Chen Chieh (Tpe) 49.68, 3. Yoshida Kazuaki (Jpn) 49.95. 3000m steeplechase: 1. John Koech (Brn) 8:27.03s, 2. Hasim Salah Mohamed (Qat) 8:36.02, 3. Evans Chematot (Brn) 8:42.76. 5. Jaiveer Singh (Ind) 8:52.16, 7. Naveen Kumar (Ind) 9:12.72. Triple jump: 1. Kim Deokhyeon (Kor) 16.86m, 2. Cao Shuo (Chn) 16.77, 3. Roman Valiyev (Kaz) 16.67. Discus: 1. Vikas Gowda (Ind) 62.03m, 2. Eisa Zankawi (Kuw) 61.57, 3. Mohmoud Samimi (Iri) 59.78. 8. Arjun (Ind) 55.47. Javelin: 1. Huang Shih-Feng (Tpe) 79.74s, 2. Bobur Shokir Joniv (Uzh) 79.09, 3. Murakami Yukifumi (Jpn) 79.05, 8. Davinder Singh (Ind) 71.28, 9. Neeraj Chopra (Ind) 70.50.

Women: 400m hurdles: Oluwakemi Adekoya (Brn) 54.31s MR, OR 55.63, 2. Kira Manami (Jpn) 57.14, 3. Xiao Xia (Chn) 57.69, 4. Anu Raghavan (Ind) 57.79. 3000m steeplechase: 1. Lalita Babar (Ind) 9:34.13s MR & Indian National record, OR meet mark 9:52.42, natl mark 9:35.37, 2. Li Zhenzhu Chn) 9:41.43 BMR, 3. Zhang Xinyan (Chn) 9:46.82. Pole vault: 1. Li Ling (Chn) 4.66m, Asian record, OR 4.65, 2. Xu Huiqin (Chn) 4.30, 3. Abiko Tomomi (Jpn) 4.20.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 11:07:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/vikas-gowda-and-lalita-babar-strike-gold/article7289584.ece

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