09 April 2018
Gold Coast. Muhammed Anas Yahiya became the first Indian man to qualify for the 400m final at the Commonwealth Games since the legendary Milkha Singh. National record holder Anas, won his semifinal heat in the men’s 400m race with a time a 45.44 seconds to qualify for the Gold Coast CWG2018 final to be held on Tuesday. Anas’ time was slower than the national record of 45.32 seconds but it was enough to mark him the third fastest Indian in a high qualify final field.
Joining Anas in the final of his event was the high jumper Tejaswin Shankar. Competing in his first Commonwealth Games, the 19-year-old did not have to break much sweat as he qualified for the high jump finals having cleared the cutoff of 2.21m. Shankar started with a height of 2.10m and then progressed to 2.15m where he made a single foul jump before clearing that height too. A successful jump at 2.18m was then followed by a missed clearance at 2.21m. There would be no mistake on his second attempt as Shankar made it to the 13-man final.
Hima Das also advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 400m with relative ease. Das, who is only 18 and only began running the 400m a few months ago, ran a fast 52.11 seconds to qualify as the third fastest runner of the last of five heats. Das’ time was close to her personal best of 51.97 seconds and she will only look to improve on that time in the semifinals of her event to be held on Tuesday.
However, India’s wait for a medal in athletics continued into the second day of the competition with Tejinder Pal Toor and L Suriya falling short in the final of the shot put and women’s 10000m event respectively.
Competing in a strong 12-man field, Toor had a poor evening at the Carrara Stadium. At the end of the first three throws, Toor barely made to the final eight (which allowed him to make three more throws. Toor, who threw 19.42m in his third attempt, never managed to exceed that mark, following with throws of 18.87, a foul throw and a last attempt of 18.63m. Toor had a personal best of 20.40m and had qualified for the Games with an effort of 20.24m at the Federation Cup last month but even those would have not been enough on the day with the bronze medal going at 20.91m to Canada’s Tim Nedow. Tomas Walsh and Chupwuebuka Enekwechi won gold and silver at 21.41m and 21.14m respectively.
Loganathan Suriya also finished out of the medal bracket but will have no regrets about her performance in the women’s 10000m. Suriya ran a personal best time of 32.23.56 seconds to finish 13th out of 19 athletes in a very strong field. Even had Suriya matched the national record of 31:50:47 seconds, she would still have finished outside the podium. Gold went to Stella Chesang at 31:45:30 seconds while silver and bronze were claimed by Stacy Ndiwa and Mercyline Chelangat at 31: 46:36 seconds and 31:48:41 seconds respectively.