Incheon: India’s Tintu Luka narrowly lost out on a gold medal and had to settle for the silver in the women’s 800m final while Annu Rani bagged a surprise bronze in women’s javelin throw on Wednesday.
It was once again a case of so near and yet so far for Tintu who, despite leading in most of the women’s 800 metres final race, was overtaken by Kazakhstan’s Margarita Mukasheva in the last stages. Margarita set a new Asian Games record of 1: 59.02 seconds to take gold while China’s Zhao Jing won the bronze in 1:59.48 secs.
Tintu timed her season’s best of 1:59.19 but ran out of steam in the last 50m to let the gold slip away through her fingers. The P.T. Usha protege had also suffered a similar fate four years ago at Guangzhou when she led the pack right from the start but could not keep pace in the last 50m and finished third. The other Indian in the fray, Sushma Devi also clocked her personal best of 2:01.92 but came fourth.
In women’s javelin, Annu surprised the field by winning the bronze. China’s Zhang Li took the gold, setting a Games Record with a throw of 65.47 metres which came on her sixth and last attempt.
Annu, 22, was leading the field with her first throw of 59.53m, which stood atop the standings till the third round. The national record holder could not better the distance in the next five attempts and had to settle for her new personal best. The two Chinese girls kept throwing better and went beyond the reach of the Indian.
Sajeesh Joseph finished fourth after three athletes were disqualified in a drama-filled men’s 800 metres final. The 27-year old Indian, running in Lane 7, got off to a poor start and trailed throughout, to finish the race in 1: 49.59 secs, well below his personal best of 1:46.81 secs.
He originally finished seventh among eight runners with one failing to finish. But Joseph jumped to fourth after three runners were disqualified for false starts. Saudi Arabia’s Ladan Abdulaziz Mohammed, who finished first was disqualified. The other two were Bahrain’s Abraham Kipchirchir Rotich and Qatar’s Musaab Abdelrahman Bala.—IANS