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Aiming for the sky 

Doha, October 2

Annu Rani failed to repeat her impressive qualifying round form to finish eighth in the women’s javelin throw in the athletics World Championships here.

Annu, who smashed her own national record with a 62.43m throw on Monday, could only produce a best of 61.12m in the finals.

The 27-year-old opened with a 59.25m before coming up with efforts of 61.12m and 60.20m, which put her among the top eight after three attempts and gave her three more throws. However, she could not improve upon her second round effort, coming up with 60.40m, 58.49m and 57.93m to finish eighth out of the 12 finalists.

Kelsey Lee Barber of Australia won the gold with a throw of 66.56m, while China’s Liu Shiying (65.88m) and Lyu Huihui (65.49m) took the silver and bronze, respectively.

“I have some technical faults and I will work on them and hopefully will do better,” Annu said. “I am yet to qualify for the Olympic Games. I hope to qualify for the Olympics for which I have to throw 64m,” she added. 

“The training in Europe helped me a lot, especially the stint in Czech Republic where I got a chance to compete with top throwers. I realised that in India, athletes have late starts while those of other countries begin very young. So we have to make improvements in techniques.” she added.

Equal opportunities

After becoming the first Indian woman to reach the javelin throw final in the World Championships, Annu called for giving equal opportunities to women in sport. “I want to say that women should also be given equal opportunities and people should believe in them,” Annu, who belongs to Badal village near Meerut, said. “They can also perform very well and give very good results,” she added.

Sable in steeplechase final

India’s Avinash Sable qualified for the men’s 3000m steeplechase finals under dramatic circumstances. The 25-year-old from Mandwa in Maharashtra became the first Indian man to reach the finals of a track event in the World Championships. 

Avinash initially failed to qualify for the finals despite bettering his own national record in an eventful heat but was later included among the finalists after the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) successfully protested that he was obstructed by other athletes during the race on Tuesday.

He clocked 8 minute, 25.23 seconds, bettering his earlier national record of 8:28.94, to finish seventh in the third heat and 20th overall out of 44 athletes. He was involved in two incidents during the race that blocked his path and thereby slowing him down for no fault of his.

The AFI later filed an appeal, and one hour later, the race referee agreed that Avinash was significantly obstructed on two occasions. 

Chitra’s best not good enough

India’s PU Chitra ran her personal best in the women’s 1500m heats but that was not enough to advance further on Wednesday. Chitra clocked 4 minutes, 11.10 seconds, beating her earlier personal best of 4:11.55, to finish eighth in her heat and 30th overall out of 35 runners. The top six in each of the three heats and the next six fastest qualify for the semifinals. 

Netherlands’ Hassan Sifan, who has already won the 10,000m gold, led the time charts among the semifinalists with 4:03.88. 

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