Kolkata: Indian athlete Nirmala Sheoran qualified for the women’s 400 meter semifinals at the World Athletics Championship held in London on Sunday.
The 22-year-old from Haryana clocked 52.01 seconds to finish fourth in her heat and qualify for the semi-finals, taking the last position among the six beat finishers.
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However, to make it to the finals she will have to better her personal best of 51.20 seconds in the semi-finals on Monday.
2015 World Youth Championship gold medalist 19 year old Salwa Eid Naser, of Bahrain finished at the top with a time of 50.57 seconds, among 24 qualifiers.
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Barring Nirmala’s qualification, India endured another disappointing day at the championships, with no other athlete progressing ahead of the qualifiers.
While in the men’s marathon Gopi Thonakal finished at 28th position, national record holder Siddharth Thingalaya crashed out in the opening rounds of the men’s 110m hurdles.
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In the women’s heptathlon, Asian champion Swapna Barman finished second last among the 28 participants. Earlier in the day, she had also finished 16th in javelin throw, while finishing 29th in the long jump event.
Gopi, who started the race on a slower note, increased his pace, to eventually finish the race at 28th position. He could not better his performance than the Rio Olympics, where he had clocked his best timing of two hours, 15 minutes and two seconds, finishing 25th.
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However, the biggest shock of the day was the exit of Thingalaya who hails from Mumbai. The national record holder, on whom the expectations were high, faced a shocking exit after finishing 7th in his heat and last among the overall 39 competitors, clocking at 13.64 seconds well behind his record best of 13.48 seconds.
When asked about his surprise oust from the championship, he said, “I thought it was a good race but it was not enough for for a semi-final spot. I am not disappointed with the timing, it was okay.