Distance runner Parul Chaudhary continued to excel in track races while javelin thrower Annu Rani was victorious in javelin on Tuesday at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. In yet another exciting day in the track and field, Indian athletes won as many as six medals to swell the overall tally to 22 medals. The Indian athletics contingent had won 20 medals, eight of them gold at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games in Indonesia.
Winner of women’s 3000m steeplechase silver, the 28 years old Parul enhanced her profile on Tuesday by adding 5,000m gold to her kitty in style. She was trailing in second place but shifted into another gear in the last 50m to cross the finish line in 15:14.75 seconds ahead of the Japanese runner Ririka Hironaka, who settled for silver with a time of 15:15.34 secs.
Ankita, the second Indian runner in the women’s 5,000m finished fifth with a time of 15:33.03 secs.
Away from the track, Annu dug deep into her vast experience to tighten her grip over the gold medal. She hurled the javelin to a distance of 62.92m in her fourth attempt, a season best, to finish atop the field of 11 throwers.
India’s middle distance runner Mohammed Afsal was also in contention for a gold in the men’s 800m, but slipped to second place in the last 50m of the two-lap race. His silver medal winning time was 1:48.43 seconds.
The second silver of the day came in the grueling decathlon through Tejaswin Shankar. His overall points tally of 7666, in the combined event, spread over two-day was a national record.
Expectations were high from Vithya Ramraj after she equaled the national record of 55.42 seconds in the women’s 400m hurdles heat. But in the final today, she could only manage third place with a time of time of 55.68 seconds.
Indian duo of Yashas Palaksha and Santhosh Kumar finished out of medal race in the men’s 400m hurdles.
India’s second bronze of the day came in the men’s triple jump event. Praveen Chithravel’s performance of 16.68m was good enough to fetch him third place. Abdulla Aboobacker, the second Indian in fray finished fourth with a jump of 16.62m.
Mohammed Afsal (800m silver 1:48.43 secs). Tejaswin Shankar (decathlon silver 7666 points). Praveen Chithravel (triple jump bronze 16.68m).
Parul Chaudhary (5,000m gold 15:14.75 secs), Annu Rani (javelin gold 62.92m), Vithya Ramraj (400m hurdles bronze 55.68 secs)