Exciting contests were on cards on the penultimate day of the 25th Asian Athletics Championships being held in Bangkok, Thailand. While the national 4x400m mixed relay team battled hard to win gold on the track, long jumper Murali Sreeshankar excelled at the jumping arena to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The Indian contingent overall won one gold, three silver and one bronze medal.
The 4x400m mixed team of Rajesh Ramesh, Aishwarya Mishra, Amoj Jacob and Suba Venkatesan in that order, clocked 3:14.70 seconds, a national record, to win gold. The national team also booked a berth for the Budapest World Athletics Championships scheduled to be held in Hungary from August 19.
At the long jump arena, Sreeshankar took time to warm up and eventually soared to a distance of 8.37m, in his sixth and last attempt, to win silver. “It was an exciting and challenging contest,” Sreeshankar said in the post-media interaction. “It was a good day to have qualified for the Paris Olympic Games and win a silver medal.”
Sreeshankar had a series of 8.10m, x, 8.12m, 8.11m, 8.13m and 8.37m.
Yu-Tang Lin of Chinese Taipei won gold with a distance of 8.40m. China’s Zhang Mingkun took home the bronze medal with a jump of 8.08m.
India’s dependable international heptathlete Swapna Barman overcame consistent back pain to win silver. She scored 5840 points. Swapna was planning to quit athletics due to injuries, but an extensive rehab programme made it possible for her to make a comeback. “I’ve cut down on my training load as the back pain is still there. For the last two months I’m able to do one time practice,” Swapna said after winning silver on Saturday.
India’s Sarvesh Anil Kushare clinched silver in the men’s high jump. He crossed the bar at 2.26m, a personal and season best.
Korea’s Woo Sanghyeok won the gold with a height of 2.28m, while Thailand’s Tawan Kaeodam won bronze (2.26m).
India’s 100m hurdles champion Jyothi Yarraji looks a strong contender for a medal in the women’s 200m. In the semis today she posted a time of 23.29 secs, which was her season best and fastest among the finalists.
Mohammed Afzal (1:48.86 secs) and Krishan Kumar (1:48.97 secs) made it to the final of men’s 800m, while KM Chanda (2:04.55) and Lavika Kumari (2:09.06 secs) also qualified for the women’s 800m final.
400mh: Mohamed Hemeida Bassem (Qatar) 48.64 secs, Yusaku Kodama (Japan) 48.96 secs, Santhosh Kumar (India) 49.09 secs.
Long jump: Yu-Tang Lin (Chinese Taipei) 8.40m, Murali Sreeshankar (India) 8.37m, Zhang Mingkun (China) 8.08m.
High jump: Woo Sanghyeok (Korea) 2.28m, Sarvesh Anil Kushare (India) 2.26m, Tawan Kaeodam (Thailand) 2.26m.
Mixed 4x400m relay: India 3:14.70 secs, Sri Lanka 3:15.41, Japan 3:15.41
Heptathlon: Ekaterina Voronina (Uzbekistan) 6098 points, Swapna Barman (India) 5840 points, Yuki Yamasaki (Japan) 5696 points.