Report by Pratap Pradhan, Bhubaneswar: India got off to a flier on the second day of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships with national record holder Muhammed Anas easing into the final of the men’s 400m. For the women, South Asian Games gold medallist JaunaMurmu qualified for the final as she finished second in Heat 2 of the same race.
India had a major setback in the men’s 4X100m relay when they were disqualified as they overshot the baton exchange zone in the final turn. The frustration of athlete Amiya Kumar Mallick was evident after he had actually outrun his Korean counterpart despite the error in an inspired last sprint.
It was a cloudy and overcast start the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar today, with India’s Arpita M qualifying for the final from Heat 1 of the women’s 400m hurdles along with Anu R who finished third in Heat 2 of the same event.
In the men’s decathlon that kickstarted the proceedings today, Guo Qi of China took an early lead with the 110m hurdles of the event. India’s Abhishek Shetty finished fifth in the same event, but quickly turned his fortunes around in the discus throw where he grabbed third position.
The evening session on Day 2 looks promising for the Indian squad with the national record holder in the recently-concluded Indian Grand Prix Athletics meet, Muhammed Anas will hope to continue his winning ways as he features in the final of the men’s 400m. He will also be joined by Incheon Games bronze medallist Arokia Rajiv in the same event. Olympic hammer throw champion DilshodNazarov of Tajikistan will look to dominate the field in the evening session as well.
India currently lead the medal tally with a total of seven in their kitty that includes two golds, one silver, and four bronze medals.