Kang pips Chopra, enters javelin final
Unheralded javelin thrower Davinder Singh Kang pipped a more-fancied Neeraj Chopra to become the first Indian to qualify for a Final in this edition of the World Athletics Championship.
Kang's participation in the World Championships had been in doubt after he tested positive for marijuana in June but he was named in the 25-member Indian team as the banned substance was in the specified list of the WADA Code and does not attract automatic suspension. "After I came to know that Neeraj did not qualify, I wanted to qualify for the final round," Kang said after his event. "I wanted to do something for the country, I wanted to do something which no Indian has done before. By the grace of God, I did something for the country."
No Indian has ever qualified in the men's javelin throw Final round in any World Championships and Kang's performance brought some relief for the Indian camp, which has put up a shoddy show at the global event.
While it was Chopra, a junior World Champion, who was touted as India's biggest hope, it ended up being Kang who came out from nowhere to attain the qualifying mark of 83m with his third and final throw that cleared a distance of 84.22m.
Chopra's best effort of 82.26m was slightly short of the qualifying mark.
Coming into the championships, Chopra was the cynosure of all eyes for the Indian contingent as he was considered the best bet for a top class show. His best effort came in his first qualifying throw. He fouled his second attempt before clearing only 80.54m in his third and final throw to finish seventh in his group and 15th overall.
Taking the field after Chopra in the Group B qualification round, Kang sent the iron spear to a distance of 84.22m in his third and final attempt.
He had covered 82.22m in his opening throw and then came up with 82.14m in his second.
Kang's best effort of 84.22m put him in the seventh position among the final round qualifiers. It was, however, not a surprise for Kang to qualify for the final round as he has a personal as well as season's best of 84.57m.
Tough task in 4x400m
Asian champions Indian men's and women's 4x400m relay teams face a difficult task in their bid to qualify for the final round when they feature in the heats on the penultimate day of the competition at the World Athletics Championships here on Saturday.
India qualified for the championships as 11th ranked team in women's 4x400m relay based on the Asian Championships gold winning time of 3 minutes 31.34 seconds. But it will be an uphill task for them to make it to the final round. India has been placed in heat number two along with defending champion Jamaica (season's best 3:28.32).
In the men's 4x400m relay race, India is ranked sixth in terms of season's best timings — with Asian Championships gold winning time of 3 minute 2.92 seconds — but it would still be difficult for them to qualify for the Final though they are better placed than their female counterparts.
Luckily, the Indian quartet are placed in an easier heat number one along with Colombia, Bahamas, Cuba, Turkey, Poland, Jamaica and Spain.
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