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Dutee Chand Breaks Record, MR Poovamma Among the Medals at Asian Athletics Championships

India won five medals (2 silvers via Annu Rani, Avinash Sable and three bronze through MR Poovamma, Gavit Murali Kumar and Parul Chaudhary) on Day 1 of the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha. In addition, sprinter Dutee Chand broke her own 100m national mark to qualify for the semifinals.
MR Poovamma at Asian Athletics Championships 2019

MR Poovamma settled for bronze in the women’s 400m race with a time of 53.21s at the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships in Doha. The silver went to Elina Mikhina (53.19) of Kazakhstan, and gold was won by Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain (51.34).

Annu Rani and Avinash Sable won silver medals while MR Poovamma missed it by a whisker, settling for bronze, as Indian athletes grabbed five medals on Day 1 of the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha on April 21.

Rani finished in second position in the women’s javelin throw with an effort of while Sable ended on the second rung of the podium in the 3000m steeplechase with a timing of 8:30.19. Poovamma, finished third in women’s 400m with a time of 53.21s, settling for bronze after a photo finish in the 400m women’s race. Earlier, Hima Das missed out after pulling out of the competition with an injury.

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Poovamma, who had recorded 52.4 in the heats, couldn’t repeat the timing in the final after failing to recover in time. “My body did not recover as expected. I was expecting a silver,” she said after the race.  

The silver went to Elina Mikhina (53.19) of Kazakhstan, while the gold was won by favourite Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain with a season’s best time of 51.34.

The other bronze medals for India came through Gavit Murali Kumar in the 10,000m men’s race and Parul Chaudhary in the women’s 5000m race.

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With the haul from the opening day, India India were placed fifth on the medals tally behind leaders Bahrain, China, Iran and the Philippines.

Indians also had a high point, albeit without a medal. Dutee Chand qualified for the 100m semifinals, breaking the national record in the process with a time of 11.28 seconds.

Meanwhile, in the men’s 400m segment, Muhammed Anas and Arokia Rajiv qualified for the final from their respective semifinals. Saritaben Gayakwad and M Arpitha qualified for women’s 400m hurdles final while MP Jabir qualified in the men’s 400m hurdles summit race. National record holder Jinson Johnson and Mohammed Afsal qualified for the 800m finals with ease from their respective semifinals.

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