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India at 2019 IAAF World Athletics: Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, Jinson Johnson Disappoint

Tejinder Pal Singh Toor threw a season’s best 20.43 m, but it wasn’t enough to see him qualify for the final. Jinson Johnson meanwhile read the conditions badly to crash on the home stretch at the IAAF World Athletics Championships heats.
Indian athlete Jinson Johnson at the IAAF World Athletics Championships

Jinson Johnson was in the top five until the final lap of the 1500m heats at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha. On the home stretch, he lost steam and faded to finish 10th in the race.

Asian Games gold medallists Tejinder Pal Singh Toor and Jinson Johnson failed to make a mark at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha. They both crashed out of competition in the qualifying round on October 3.

Toor, 24, hurled the shot put to a season’s best of 20.43 metre to end up eighth in Group B of the qualification round. He was classified 18th overall out of 34 competitors. Johnson, meanwhile, was completely off colour and ran the 1500m heats with a below part timing of 3 minutes, 39.86 seconds. He finished 10th in the first round heats, and 34th overall out of 43 runners.

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Toor began his preliminary round under pressure. He was the first to attempt among Group B athletes. But with all the eight shot putters from Group A touching the final automatic qualifying mark of 20.90m, Toor, whose personal best (the Indian national record) is 20.75m, needed a special throw to make it. 

He opened with 20.43m, bettering his season’s best, but fouled his next attempt. Pressure mounted further as three competitors from Group B touched the automatic qualifying mark in their first attempt, and the others did so in the second round. Toor could only come up with a 19.55m effort in his third and final attempt. 

Reigning world champion and the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist Tomas Walsh of New Zealand led the finalists with a throw of 21.92m. 12 shot putters from Group A and Group B combined were able to cross the automatic qualifying mark for the final.

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More disappointment was in store for India. Jinson, who broke his own national record last month (3:35.24) to qualify for the Worlds, miscalculated the conditions during his heats. The 28-year-old, among the leading five till the final bell, ran out of steam on the home stretch. He ended up running four seconds outside his best.

The top six from each of the three heats and the next six fastest advanced to the semifinals.

(With inputs from PTI)

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