Asian Games gold medallist Sudha Singh failed to live up to expectations as India settled with two silver and two bronze medals on a rather disappointing third day of the 20th Asian Athletics Championships here on Friday.
Having broken her national record last month with an Asian leading time, Sudha was tipped to bag the women’s 3000m steeplechase gold but she failed to do so as she was beaten by Ruth Jebet of Bahrain, who ran a brilliant race to notch up her personal best of 9:40.84s, in the last event of the day.
Sudha, who has already qualified for next month’s World Championships, could only clock 9:56.27, well below her personal best of 9:45.60.
It was Sudha’s third consecutive silver medal in the continental championships. Her previous two medals came in 2009 and 2011.
Bahrain teenager Jebet led from start to finish to win the race with a new meet record. The 16-year-old clocked 9:40.84 seconds, well ahead of the previous meet mark of 9:52.42 seconds by Japan’ Minori Hayakari in the previous edition in Kobe in 2011.
Wang Zheng of China also set a new meet record in the women’s hammer throw with a distance of 72.78m, surpassing compatriot Zhang Wen Xiu’s effort of 72.07m at the 2009 Asian Championships in Guangzhou.
Prem Kumar Kumaravel gave India the second silver in long jump while J Hemashree and Samarjeet Singh Malhi bagged a bronze each in women’s 100m hurdles and men’s javelin throw respectively. China’s 16-year- old Wang Jianan claimed gold in the long jump with a distance of 7.95m.
The gold medallists at the meet are assured of a direct entry in next month’s World Championships in Moscow.
After Friday’s four medals, India’s tally swelled to nine with one gold, three silver and five bronze. The hosts slipped to sixth spot in the standings.
Pune: The Athletics Federation of India’s plan to include dope-tainted Ashwini Akkunji in the women’s 4x400m relay team in the ongoing meet was nixed by the competition technical delegate on the ground that it would violate IAAF rules.