Kamalpreet Kaur qualifies for Olympics in discus throw with NR, improves PB by 4m

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Patiala, Mar 19 (PTI) Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur booked her Tokyo Olympics berth with a sensational national record effort of 65.06m as she improved upon her earlier personal best by four metres on the final day of the Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships, here on Friday.

The 25-year-old Kaur, who had also won gold in the 2019 edition of the championships, dramatically heaved the discus to 65.06m in her first throw to the surprise of the sizeable crowd at the NIS here.

The Punjab athlete then fouled all her remaining five attempts.

The Tokyo Olympics qualifying mark in women's discus throw is 63.50m.

Kaur's earlier personal best was 61.04m which she recorded in 2018.

She eclipsed the nine-year-old earlier national record of 64.76m which was in the name of Olympian and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Krishna Poonia. Competing in her first event after the 2018 Asian Games where she had won a bronze, veteran Seema Punia finished second with a best effort of 62.64m.

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 4x400 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 Suseendran 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. PTI PDS PDS AT AT