The World Athletics championships are thus done and dusted. Though India finished at the bottom of the table without any medals in its kitty, the Indian contingent still managed to put up some creditable performances. Sports Rediscovered takes a look at some of the gracious losers from the competition.
The 26 year old had a good outing in Beijing, finishing eighth in the 3000 meters steeplechase event. Babar, who was leading the race during the initial stages, clocked 9:29.64 seconds to become the first Indian to finish in the top 10 of a world athletics event. The Maharashtra born Asian Games bronze medalist broke the national record which she had set earlier this year during the Wuhan Games, en route to booking a place in the finals, clocking 9:27.86 seconds in the qualifiers.
OP Jaisha entered the World Championships in style, by breaking a 19-year-old national record. The Keralite bettered Vally Satyabhama’s record in her maiden marathon event, clocking 2:37.29 seconds during the Mumbai marathon, to enter the World championships. Beijing stood witness as she rewrote the record books again, clocking 2:34.43 to finish 18th in the finals.
Inderjeet Singh, the first Indian to qualify for the World Athletics shot put finals, came up with a 11th place finish with a best throw of 19.62 metres.
Luka disappointed yet again, crashing out of the 800 metres heats after a promising start. PT Usha’s protege did, however, secure a Rio Olympics berth with a timing of 2:00.95 seconds. Things were a bit tough on the 26 year old, who was paired along with the titans of the track (Caster Semenya, Marina Arzamasova, and Lynsey Sharp) in the first heat, as though the top three from two of the other heats finished with timings worse than hers, they went through to the finals. No excuse though, as the national champion should have adapted to the challenge.
Thank the race walking gods for Alexander Artsybashev, as India owes its recent success in the sport to the Russian coach. In the 20 km walk, Gurmeet Singh finished 35th , with timing of 1:25.22 seconds, followed by compatriot Chandan Singh (1:26.40 seconds), who finished 41st. National record holder Khushbir Kaur finished 37th, stopping the clocks at 1:38.53 seconds in the parallel event for women. The 50 km race saw Sandeep Kumar and Manish Singh finish with season best (3:57.03 seconds), and personal best (3:57.11 seconds) timings respectively.
4 x 400 metres Relay:
India finished last in the women’s relay event, in 3:29.08 seconds. The mark, however, was a season best for the team consisting of Luka, Jisna Mathew, Debasree Majumdar and MR Poovamma.
World Athletics Championships: Summary
Kenya led the medals tally, while Jamaica and USA came in second and third respectively. That was it from Bird’s Nest, with next stop being Rio. Hopefully, we’ll be able to convert the eighth place finishes to Olympic medals soon.