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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

World Athletics Championships: Injured Nirmala bows out, hopes on Neeraj Chopra

India’s poor show at the ongoing 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships continued with Asian champion Nirmala Sheoran bowing out in the women’s 400m semifinals. All eyes will now be on javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra.

other-sports Updated: Aug 08, 2017 22:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Neeraj Chopra will be up against some of the greatest javelin throwers at the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships.
Neeraj Chopra will be up against some of the greatest javelin throwers at the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships. (Getty Images for IAAF)

India’s top quarter miler Nirmala Sheoran bowed out of the women’s 400m semifinals in the World Athletics Championships at London on Monday night. Running in lane three in the second semifinal, Nirmala was slow off the blocks and looked sluggish even at the halfway mark.

She eventually finished seventh, clocking 53.07 secs, having run 52.01 secs in the preliminary heat. The national champion was ranked 22nd out of 24 competitors overall.

(Read | IAAF World Championships: Faith Kipyegon wins 1500m, Omar McLeod 110m hurdles)

Winner at last month’s Asian championships, Nirmala had clocked 51.28 secs at the Federation Cup in June to earn the passage for the world meet.

There was also disappointment for heptathlete Swapna Barman, who tallied 5431 points to finish 26th and bottom. The Asian champion could not repeat her performance of 5900 points. Belgium’s Olympic champion Nafissatour Thiam won (6784 points).

(Read | Justin Gatlin’s father flays crowd for booing at World Athletics Championships)

Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla said Swapna had back pain after the first event (100m hurdles), which went from bad to worse. “Her overall performance was encouraging considering the pain,” he said.

Swapna, 20, had suffered a lower-back injury during the 2015-16 season, forcing her to avoid the high jump event for six months. The promising athlete from Kolkata will undergo rehabilitation before resuming hard training for the 2018 season.

The men’s 5,000m will be in focus on Wednesday with India’s G Lakshmanan in the fray.

India’s best hope is the men’s javelin throw, to be held on Thursday with all eyes on world junior record-holder Neeraj Chopra. Besides Neeraj, Davinder Singh will also compete in the event.

First Published: Aug 08, 2017 20:43 IST

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