India win four medals on the final day of Asian Athletics Championships
India finished with three gold -- Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (shot put) and Gomathi Marimuthu (women’s 800m) were the other winners – seven silver and seven bronze.Updated: Apr 25, 2019 01:22 IST
PU Chitra ran a brilliant tactical race to retain her women’s 1500m title as India put up a good performance on the track winning four medals on the final day of the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha on Wednesday.
India finished with three gold -- Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (shot put) and Gomathi Marimuthu (women’s 800m) were the other winners – seven silver and seven bronze.
Ajay Kumar Saroj won a waiting game to take silver in the men’s 1500m while sprinter Dutee Chand claimed the 200m bronze to make amends for her fifth place finish in 100m to account for India’s other individual medal. The women’s 4x400m relay squad won silver. However, the men were disqualified after finishing second for obstructing another runner.
Chitra emulated Gomathi’s come-from-behind victory to ensure an Indian middle-distance double, clocking four minutes, 14.56 seconds. Pushed to bronze at last year’s Asian Games, she did not panic despite being boxed in early to upstage Tigest Gashaw of Bahrain (4:14.81) in the final metres of the race.
While others jostled in the front, she placed herself fifth and moved up to third going into the final lap. The Bahraini pushed harder with 300m to go, but Chitra
waited patiently for the right moment to launch her attack. Her first move came near the 200m mark and then on the final bend, she shifted into top gear to cross the finish line first.
After retaining her title, Chitra said she could have clocked a faster time. “After crossing the finish line, I had some energy,” she said. Lili Das, the second Indian in fray, finished down the field.
Ajay Kumar Saroj, winner of gold in the 2017 edition held at Bhubaneswar, trailed the leading bunch of runners for the opening two laps and looked like missing a podium finish at the bell. However, his tactics to conserve energy for a fast finish paid rich dividend. He made the decisive move on the home straight to win silver at 3:43.18 secs in a photo-finish, beating Qatar’s Musaab Ali to the line. Bahrain’s Abraham Kipchirchir Rotich won, clocking 3:42.85.
In the women’s 200m, Dutee Chand accelerated extra hard in the last 50m to claim bronze with a season’s best time of 23.24 secs. She had clocked 23.33 in the semis. After her disappointment of missing the podium in 100m, her resolve to do better in the 200m race was evident as she didn’t give up till crossing the line. The medal was decided via photo-finish and she edged out Bahrain’s Edidiong Odiong for third. “I just went all out in the last 50m. I’m happy to have one medal in my bag,” she said after the race from Doha.
The race went on expected line with Bahrain’s Salwa Naser winning gold with a time of 22.74 secs. Olga Safronova of Kazakhstan took silver at 22.87 secs. It was her second medal. The Kazakh sprinter had also won gold in 100m.
After winning gold in 200m, Salwa also anchored 4x400m team to earn third gold of the meet. She had also won the 400m.
There was expectation in the men’s 5,000m race, but Gavit Murli Kumar, winner of bronze in 10,000m, finished a disappointing fifth. Abhishek Pal, the second runner, was eighth.
National champion and leading women discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur failed to repeat her recent performance of 60.25m recorded in March at Patiala. Her best was 55.59m that fetched her fifth place. Navjeet Kaur Dhillon’s best throw was 56.36m and she finished fourth.
The men’s 4x400m team comprising Kunhu Muhammed, KS Jeevan, Mohammed Anas and Rajiv Arokia clocked 3:03.28 to come second, only to be disqualified. The women’s team of Prachi, MR Poovamma, Saritaben Gayakwad and VK Vismaya clocked 3:32.21 secs to win silver. Bahrain won the gold at 3:32.10 secs.