Tajinderpal Toor, Parul add to India’s gold collection in Asian Athletics

Seasoned campaigners Tajinderpal Singh Toor and Parul Chaudhury added to India’s collection of gold medals with comprehensive victories in the men’s Shot Put and women’s 3000m Steeplechase in the Asian Athletics Championships at the National Stadium in Bangkok on Friday while the Shaili Singh finished bitter-sweet women’s Long Jump silver.

After three days of competition, India has won nine medals so far, including five gold and a silver. It is third behind Japan (24 medals including 11 gold) and China (15 medals including 5 gold). If he can get his rhythm right, M Sreeshankar can add the men’s Long Jump gold for India on Saturday while Swapna Burman is in the mix for the Heptathlon crown.
Tajinderpal Singh Toor needed only two attempts to cross the 20m mark seal his second straight gold in the Asian Championships. He passed each of his four remaining tries, watching Mehdri Saberi (Iran) and Ivan Ivanov (Kazakhstan) take their fight for the silver deep into the competition. Neither breached 20m, the Iranian taking silver with a 19.98m effort on his fifth visit to the circle.

Tajinderpal Singh Toor completed a hat-trick of medals in the Asian competition, becoming only the second Indian to climb the top of the men’s Shot Put podium twice. With news of Karanveer Singh’s provisional suspension breaking out a few days ago, the Indian star had to keep his focus sharp and help India win its 10th gold in the men’s Shot Put in the continental championships.
Parul Chaudhary was in her elements in the women’s 3000m Steeplechase, an event that has seen Sudha Singh and Lalita Babar win three gold for India in the earlier editions. In the absence of Bahrain’s Winfred Mutile Yavi, who produced an Asia best of 9:04.38 this season, the Indian was billed as favourite, especially in the humid conditions.

Parul Chaudhary smartly shadowed the leaders before making her decisive move with about a fifth of the race left to run. China’s Xu Shaungshuang tried to match the pace but the Indian kicked on to win gold comfortably. Priti seemed set to land a second medal for India, edging ahead of Japan’s Reimi Yoshimura only to lose the bronze medal on the last stride.

India looked like it would mint the women’s Long Jump gold as well.
But when the competition was whittled down to eight jumpers at the halfway stage, Japan’ Sumire Hata produced three wonderful attempts, each of which was good for gold. She had a 6.74m on the fourth try and followed it up with 6.59m. Not letting up the pressure on the young Indian, the Japanese uncorked a personal best of 6.97m on the last try.
Shaili Singh laid down the gauntlet with an opening jump of 6.54m, running with a wind of 1.5m/s behind her. She could not find the pace and the elevation to improve on that, with a 6.28m as her second best on Friday. Ancy Sojan was in second place for a while with a 6.41m jump on her second try but ended up fourth after China’s Zhong Jiawei produced a 6.46m on her fifth try.

Swapna Burman stayed on course to win a third medal in Heptathlon, being placed second after the four events on the first day. She is 56 points behind Uzbekistan’s Ekaterina Voronina, the defending champion. Yashas Palaksha and T Santhosh Kumar earned themselves a crack at the men’s 400m Hurdles medals, finishing a dead-heat second and third in their respective semifinals.

The results (finals):
100m: 1. Hiroki Tanagita (Japan) 10.02 seconds; 2. Mohammed Abdullah Abkar (Saudi Arabia) 10.19; 3. Hassan Taftian (Iran) 10.23.
3000m Steeplechase: 1. Ryoma Aoki (Japan) 8:34.91; 2. Yaser Salem Bagharab (Qatar) 8:37.11; 3. Seiya Sunada (Japan) 8:39.17; 4. Bal Kishan (India) 8:46.98; Mohammed Nurhasan Did Not Finish.
110m Hurdles: 1. Shunya Takayama (Japan) 13.29 seconds; 2. Xu Zhuoyi (China) 13.39; 3. Yaqoub Alyouha (Kuwait) 13.56.
Shot Put: 1. Tajinderpal Singh Toor (India) 20.23m; 2. Mehdi Saberi (Iran) 19.98; 3. Ivan Ivanov (Kazakhstan) 19.87.
100m: 1. Veronica Shanti Pereira (Singapore) 11.20 seconds; 2. Farzaneh Fasihi 11.39; 3. Ge Manqi (China) 11.40.
3000m Steeplechase: 1. Parul Chaudhary (India) 9:38.76; 2. Xu Shaungshuang (China) 9:44.54; 3. Reimi Yoshimura (Japan) 9:48.48; 4. Priti (India) 9:48.50.
Pole Vault: 1. Li Ling (China) 4.66m (Equalled AAC Record, 4.66, Li Ling, China, Wuhan, 2015);
2. Niu Chunge (China) 4.51; 3. Chayanisa Chomchuendee (Thailand) 4.10; Baranica Elangovan No mark (unable to clear her opening height of 3.80m).
Long Jump: 1. Sumire Hata (Japan) 6.97m; 2. Shaili Singh (India) 6.54; 3. Zhong Jiawei (China) 6.46; 4. Ancy Sojan (India) 6.41.
Discus Throw: 1. Feng Bin (China) 66.42m (New AAC Record. Old: 65.36, Feng Bin, China, Doha, 2019); 2. Wang Fang (China) 58.49; 3. Subenrat Insaeng (Thailand) 55.80.
Other results (Indians only):
400m Hurdles semifinals: T Santosh Kumar 50..06 (Qualified for final); Yashas Palaksha 49.60 (Qualified for final). First round: Yasash Palaksha 50.84 (qualified for semifinals); T Santhosh Kumar 50.50 (Qualified for semifinals).
Heptathlon (first day): 2. Swapna Burman 3392 points (100H: 13.98; HJ: 1.80; SP: 11.96; 200: 26.26).

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