Long-distance runner Gopi finishes 21st; India's campaign ends
Shivpal produced a best throw of 78.97m from his three attempts to finish 10th in the Group A qualification round
Doha: Asian champion Gopi Thonakal finished 21st in the men's marathon race as India ended their World Athletics Championships campaign with mixed results here yesterday. Laggards at the world stage, the 27-member Indian team was not expected to win any medal but performed better than expected, with three finalists — in mixed 4x400m relay, men's 3000m steeplechase and women's javelin throw. Out of the three finals, steeplechaser Avinash Sable and the mixed 4x400m relay team booked Tokyo Olympics quotas, while javelin thrower Annu Rani finished a creditable eight.
Gopi, 31, clocked 2 hours 15 minute 57 seconds to end among the top half of 55 runners, who completed the race on the Corniche under 29 degree Celsius temperature and around 50 per cent humidity. 73 athletes started just before midnight of which 18 did not finish. On Saturday night, the Indian men's and women's 4x400m relay teams produced disappointing performances while javelin thrower Shivpal Singh came a cropper, crashing out of the World Championships.
The women's quartet of Jisna Mathew, MR Poovamma, VK Vismaya and Venkatesan Subha clocked 3 minutes 29.42 seconds to finish sixth in the first heat. Later, the men's team of Amoj Jacob, Muhammed Anas, K Suresh Jeevan and Noah Nirmal Tom ran 3:03.09 to finish seventh in Heat No.2. The women's quartet, however, bettered the earlier season's best of 3:31.93 clocked during the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan, in May.
Shivpal misses out
Earlier, Shivpal Singh also failed to qualify for the finals of the men's javelin throw event as he finished 24th overall in the qualification round. Shivpal produced a best throw of 78.97m from his three attempts to finish 10th in the Group A qualification round.
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