Neeraj Chopra, world junior javelin champ, Navjeet Kaur and Nayana James, qualify for CWG
National record holder in javelin, Neeraj Chopra, was among three athletes to make the cut for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the one-day Indian Grand Prix athletics meet in Patiala on Tuesday.
Woman discus thrower Navjeet Kaur Dhillon and long jumper Nayana James also qualified.
Chopra, who won the world junior title in 2016 with an effort of 86.48m, dominated the event in Patiala. His best throw of 82.88m was way better than the qualifying mark of 81.80m for the CWG, starting on April 4.
This is the season’s second competition where Chopra has crossed 80m. Recently, he claimed silver with a throw of 82.80m at an international throws event in Offenburg, Germany, his training base.
The national champion from Haryana had been training in Offenburg for three months under German expert Werner Daniels.
Vipin Kasana finished second at 80.04m. He was the second competitor to cross the 80m mark, but fell short of qualification.
Punjab’s world junior discus bronze medallist Navjeet Kaur Dhillon also claimed a CWG berth, achieving a distance of 59.18m. The qualifying mark was 59m.
Kerala’s international long jumper, Nayana James, also made the grade. In the season opening meet, she had a best jump of 6.47m (QM: 6.45 m). Neena Pinto came close while finishing second at 6.41m.
It was a narrow miss for Rakesh Babu in men’s triple jump. His best was 16.59m was a centimetre short of the qualifying mark (16.60m).
Shot-putter Tejinder Pal Toor also fell short of the mark of 20.20m after a best effort of 19.95m.
In other events, elite athletes preparing for the CWG weren’t impressive. National 400m record holder, Mohammad Anas, was far below his personal best of 45.32 secs. He faded away to fifth in his heat after a pedestrian effort of 51.22 secs, to be ranked 10th overall. Jeevan KS won the event, clocking 46.64 secs.
In the absence of top runners, including MR Poovamma and Nirmala Sheoran, the women’s 400m was won by Sneha PJ, clocking 53.93 secs.
In the men’s 100m, national record holder, Amiya Mallick, was ranked a poor sixth, clocking 10.96 secs. The winner was Vidyasagar S at 10.65 secs.
Women’s 100m favourite Dutee Chand though didn’t disappoint, claiming the 100m with an effort of 11.57 secs.