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Seema, Krishna seek to set record straight

india Updated: Aug 03, 2012 03:00 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times
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Seema-Antil-Punia

Indian women discus throwers are keen to break the jinx of never qualifying for the event's final, when the track and field events kick off on Friday.

Following her 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal, there is hope that Krishna Poonia will make it to the final along with junior World championship medal winner, Seema Antil, who was one of the first Indian athletes to reach London to acclimatise to the conditions.

After Friday's qualification round, the top-12 throwers will fight for the podium finish in the final on Saturday.

Only six Indians, and the women's 400m relay team, have reached the finals in track and field events since 1948. Triple jumper Henry Rebello (1948), quarter-miler Milkha Singh (1960), 110m hurdler GS Randhawa (1964), 800m runner Sriram Singh (1976), hurdler PT Usha (1984) and long jumper Anju Bobby George have made it to the finals but a medal has eluded them.

"I have seen the Olympic medal slip out of my hands and I want to see India win a medal in athletics in my lifetime. The women discus throwers can spring a surprise, says Milkha Singh.

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"Krishna and Seema are in good shape and we are hoping they make it to the finals," says chief coach Bahadur Singh. "If they are able to match their personal best, they can be in the medals bracket," he adds.

In the last six competitions she has competed in, Krishna has crossed the 62-metre mark in five events on the first throw, and that should be enough to book her a place in the final. And, a throw of around 64 metres should get her a medal.

Krishna's best this year is 64.76. Before coming to London, Krishna had a base in the US. Though Seema, who was training in the US since September, has not participated in many competitions, she hurled the discus to a distance of 62.76 and 61.76 in the two events she competed in this month.

"Everything is going as per plan. I am satisfied with my performance and hope to better my performance on Friday," says Seema, who has been training under American coach Tony Ciarelli.

"My first aim is to book a berth in the final. After that, I will talk about the final," she adds.