India's hammer thrower Ashish Jakhar strikes gold

Jun 08, 2018, 09:21 IST | PTI

Ashish Jakhar was the star among the Indians on the opening day as he set a junior national record en route to winning a gold medal in the men's hammer throw event

India's hammer thrower Ashish Jakhar strikes gold
Hammer thrower Ashish Jakhar

Indian track and field athletes clinched four medals, including a gold, as they got off their campaign at the 2018 Asian Junior Championships to a strong start here yesterday. Ashish Jakhar was the star among the Indians on the opening day as he set a junior national record en route to winning a gold medal in the men's hammer throw event.

Jakhar, a former gold medallist at the 2016 Asian Junior Championships, threw the 6kg iron ball and chain to a distance of 76.86m at the Gifu Nagaragawa Stadium to shatter the previous mark of 75.04m that he himself had set at the Junior Federation Cup in April.Jakhar began strongly with a throw of 74.97m in his first attempt before managing to set a new national mark in his second effort. He was joined on the podium by compatriot Damneet Singh who also managed a personal best of 74.08m to clinch the silver medal.

Bettering previous effort
Singh, the 2017 World Youth silver medallist, bettered his previous best effort of 70.37m recorded at the Junior Federation Cup earlier this year. After the hammer throwers opened India's account, Priyadarshini Suresh and long distance runner Poonam Sonune added to the tally with bronze medals in women's triple jump and women's 5000m race respectively. Priyadarshini leaped a personal best of 13.08m in her second jump of the competition. The gold went to Vietnam's VU Thi Ngoc Ha who cleared a distance of 13.22m while China's Youqi Pan was second with a best jump of 13.21m.

Runner Poonam on podium
Maharashtra's Sonune, who had finished fourth in 2016, managed to get on the podium in the final race of the evening — women's 5000m. She finished third with a timing of 17:03.75 seconds, finishing behind Japan's Mikuni Yada who clinched gold with a timing of 16:31.65s. China's Lihua Niu took the silver with a timing of 16:55.54 seconds.

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