Vikas Gowda finishes ninth at World Athletics Championships

  • IANS, Beijing
  • Updated: Aug 30, 2015 06:09 IST
Vikas Gowda competes in the final of the men's discus throw at the World Athletics Championships at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing on August 29, 2015. (AP Photo)

In a disappointing day for India, two-time Asian discus champion Vikas Gowda finished ninth, while the Indian women's 4x400 metres relay team failed to qualify for the final of the World Athletics Championships in Beijing on Saturday.

Indian 50 km walkers Sandeep Kumar and Manish Singh also produced disheartening performances to finish 26th and 27th on the penultimate day of the competition at the Bird's Nest stadium.

Discus thrower Gowda put up a below-par effort of 62.24 metres to finish ninth. The 32-year-old had claimed the seventh spot in the 2013 edition.

Starting the final with a throw of 60.286 metres, his second was disqualified. His third attempt gave him the best performance of 62.24 metres. But that was not enough and he and three others didn't compete in the next three rounds.

In this category, two-time silver medallist Piotr Malachowski of Poland claimed the gold medal with a throw of 67.40 metres. Belgian Philip Milanov clinched the silver medal with 66.90 metres, while the third place went to Robert Urbanek of Poland who threw 65.18 metres.

Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Gowda was ranked coming into the final.

In the men's 50 km walk race, Sandeep clocked his season's best performance of 3:57:03 hours while Manish achieved his personal best of 3:57:11 hours but it was only enough to secure bottom half places among the 38 players who completed the event.

Slovakia's Matej Toth led all the way to win the longest event of the championships, winning in 3:40:32 hours. He took the lead one kilometre into the race and never looked back, stopping only briefly for a bathroom break.

Having set the third-fastest time in history in Slovakia in March, the in-form Toth claimed the country's first ever gold in the competition.

Australia's two-time Olympic silver medallist Jared Tallent took the silver medal in 3:42:16 hours and Japanese Takayuki Tanii won the bronze medal in 3:42.55 hours.

Defending champion Robert Heffernan of Ireland came fifth. Veteran Jesus Angel Garcia of Spain, 1993 world champion who is competing in his 12th world championships at the age of 45, finished ninth.

Meanwhile, the quartet of Tintu Luka, MR Poovamma, Debasree Majumdar and Jisna Mathew finished at the bottom of the eight teams in the seond heat of the women's 4x400 metres relay event despite clocking the season's best timing of 3:29.08 minutes.

The United States emerged as the top team after the qualifying heats with a timing of 3:23.05 minutes, closely followed by Nigeria (3:23.27 minutes) and Jamaica (3:23.62 minutes).

The Indian team won gold at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games when it was represented by the quartet of Priyanka Panwar, Luka, Mandeep Kaur and Poovamma.

Russia, Canada, Great Britain, France and Ukraine also qualified for the final.

On Sunday, India's Lalita Babar, Sudha Singh and OP Jaisha will compete in the women's marathon.

India is yet to win a medal in the event so far.

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