- Manpreet Kaur won the gold in shot put
- Manpreet earned qualification for the World Championships
- Lakshmanan took the gold in the men’s 5000m race
Day 1 of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship in Bhubaneswar saw India nab 2 gold medals in a total tally of 7 medals. It was an exciting day for Indian sports as athletes shone in different categories. India sits on top of the medals tally with giants China coming second with 3 medals.
2 golds, 1 silver and 4 bronze medals saw India dominate the first day of the Championship. India registered podium finishes in shot put, men’s 5000m race, women’s long jump, men’s discus throw, women’s 5000m race and the women’s javelin throw. China chase India with one gold and two silvers.
Birthday girl Manpreet Kaur opened the account for India as she threw 18.28m in shot put to register her career second best at the Kalinga Stadium. Her throw was enough to defeat defending world champion Chinese Guo Tianqian and hand India the first gold medal of the event. Tianqian came second while Aya Ota of Japan made up the top 3.Manpreet has already earned direct qualification for the World Championships in London after throwing a career best 18.86 in Chine earlier this season. Manpreet, who returned to the circuit last year after taking some time off, said she was happy to have crossed the 18m mark.
The second gold medal of the day was completely unexpected.Lakshmanan grabbed eyeballs as he put in a superb performance to come first in the men’s 5000m race. He notched up a time of 14 minutes 54.58 seconds which was enough to beat Yaser Salam of Qatar who finished in 14:55:89.Having won the bronze in the last edition of the championships, a gold in this one goes to show the work put in by Lakshmanan over the years.
Day 2 promises to be even more eventful for the Indians with some of their strongest athletes taking part. Expect the medal tally to go much higher!