Kamalpreet Kaur on Friday qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in women’s discus throw event with a national record attempt of 65.06 metres during the ongoing Athletics Federation Cup. The Olympic qualification benchmark is 63.5 metres.
Kaur has set a new national record in women’s discus throw, breaking the previous record held by Krishna Poonia when she made a throw of 64.76 metres in 2012. This is also the first time the 65m mark has been breached in women’s discus throw by an Indian.
“Many congratulations to Kamalpreet Kaur who achieved qualification for Tokyo 2020 in women’s discus throw with a national record attempt of 65.06m. This is also above the Olympic qualification benchmark of 63.5m,” the Sports Authority of India (SAI) informed in a tweet.
“Road to Tokyo 2020. Kamalpreet Kaur breaks women’s discus throw national record with an effort of 65.06m (Olympic Qualification standard 63.50m); Previous NR: Krishna Poonia 64.76m (2012),” tweeted the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).
The 37-year-old Punia, who had won a gold in the 2014 Asian Games and a medal each in the 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games, missed the Olympics qualification mark by less than a metre.
Sonal Goyal of Delhi took the bronze with a best throw of 52.11m.
Five race walkers (K T Irfan, Sandeep Kumar and Rahul Rohilla in the men’s 20km event, and Bhawana Jat and Priyanka Goswami in the women’s 20km event), two javelin throwers (Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh), Avinash Sable (men’s 3000m steeplechase), M Sreeshankar (men’s long jump) and the mixed 4×400 metres relay team have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics earlier.
In other events, star athlete Hima Das of Assam won the women’s 200m race with a new meet record time of 23.21 seconds and took revenge of her semifinals heat defeat to S Dhanalaxmi of Tamil Nadu.
Dhanalaxmi, who took the silver in 23.39 seconds, had broken PT Usha’s earlier meet record by running 23.26 seconds on Thursday. But her meet record lasted less than a day. Archana Surendran was third with a time of 23.60s.
Hima, who has a personal best time of 23.10 seconds in 200m, is yet to qualify for the Olympics. The Olympic qualifying mark for women’s 200m is 22.80 seconds.
The Tokyo Olympics, originally slated to take place last year got postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be held from July 23 to August 8.