Nirmala Sheoran disappoints, finishes among bottom heap

London : Nirmala Sheoran produced a forgettable performance in the women’s 400m semifinals to finish among the bottom trio as India’s disappointing show in the World Athletics Championships continued on the fourth day.

The 22-year-old Nirmala clocked 53.07 seconds, well below her season’s as well as personal best of 51.28, as she finished seventh in semifinals heat number two and 22nd overall out of total 24 competitors at the Olympic Stadium. Top two from each of the three semifinal heats and two fastest finishers from the remaining runners qualify for the final. Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser led the field going in the final with a 50.08 seconds effort while defending champion and Rio Olympics silver medallist Allyson Felix clocked the second fastest in 50,12.

The Haryana girl Nirmala, who ran at lane number 3, had an outside chance to reach the finals but the least she could have attempted was to do better than her personal best but she was out of sorts as soon as she came off the blocks. She could not even come nowhere near her heats performance of 52.01 seconds — the same timing she had clocked while winning the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar last month.

Nirmala had finished fourth in her heat to qualify for the semifinals. She had taken the last spot among the six best finishers outside the automatic qualifiers. “It was not a good race. I could not recover properly after previous race. I have problems with the food here and I don’t have a personal coach,” she told PTI after her race. “My target here was to do better than my personal best. But I could not do that without a personal coach. For an athlete in such a big event, a personal coach is very important. It is difficult without a personal coach,” she added.

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