India’s shot put star Tajinderpal Singh Toor put in a highly credible performance in the qualification round of the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, but finished outside the top 12 to be knocked out of the competition.
Despite the early exit, the Indian managed to achieve his season-best distance.
With his very first throw, the 24-year-old southpaw managed a huge throw of 20.43 metres to set a new season-best to his name. The Indian though could not keep that run going in subsequent throws, having an invalid throw in his second attempt and only managing a distance of 19.55 metres in his third.
Toor’s season-best though was not good enough to get him a place in the finals, as he finished in eighth place in his qualification group. New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh, who won the bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, finished at the top spot after qualification managing an impressive throw of 21.92 metres. Nigerian Chukwuebuka Enekwechi managed to qualify for the finals in 12th place with a throw of 20.94 metres.
Johnson misses out
Middle-distance runner Jinson Johnson could not continue his stellar recent form as he finished in 10th place in the 1500m heats to suffer a premature elimination. The athlete from Kerala clocked a timing of 3:39:86 seconds, three seconds longer than first-placed Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya.
Johnson, who won gold at the 2018 Asian Games, remained in the top three positions for the most part of the race, keeping himself in contention for a place in the semifinals.
In the final lap though, Johnson began falling behind as the other athletes increased the intensity of their running, eventually dropping down to tenth place by the finish line.
What’s next for India?
While Indian athletes may not have achieved any success on Thursday, their fans will be looking forward as the IAAF World Athletics Championships moves into its eighth day.
Avinash Sable, who experienced a dramatic race to make it to the 3000m steeplechase finals, will be seen in action around 12:15 AM IST (Saturday).
The 20km race walk will also have Indian participation, with KT Irfan and Devender Singh scheduled to take part.