Seema Antil Punia, a 32-year-old discus thrower from Haryana, qualified for the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janiero by winning gold at the Young Thrower’s Classic in California on Saturday.
Punia threw a distance of 62.62 metres, ahead of the Olympic qualification mark of 61 metres. It was also enough to beat her opponent, Stephanie Brown-Trafton of the US who won silver with a 60.50-metre throw.
The Haryana-based athlete has had significant international success, winning silver at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, followed by a bronze medal at the 2010 edition of the event. She won silver at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, which was one of her best years professionally.
Punia also won the gold medal at the Asian Games in 2014 and represented the country in the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. Finishing 13th overall in 2012, Punia will hope to improve her performance ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which commence in August.