Shot-putter Manpreet Kaur won the first gold medal for India followed by long-distance runner Govind Lakshmanan in 5000 m race. India won a total of 7 medals in Day 1 of Asian Athletics Championship at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. China ended the day in second position with 1gold and 2 silver.
Birthday girl Manpreet upstaged defending champion Guo Tianquin of China to win gold with a career second-best throw of 18.28m. The winner of Asian Championships will get automatic berth for the World Championships in London in August, but Manpreet has already qualified for the event with her own national record-improving effort of 18.86 in China.
Govind Lashmanan became the surprise winner in 5000m when he won the gold in 14 minutes and 54.48 seconds. He won bronze in the previous edition of Asian Championships.
Women long jumpers also had a successful day as V Neena won silver and Nayan James won bronze. They cleared a distance of 6.54m and 6.42m respectively.
But discuss thrower Vikas Gowda disappointed as he failed to defend his title and settled for a bronze with a best effort of 60.81m. Gowda’s participation was under controversy as he was called by the Athletics Federation of India to appear for trial to test his fitness.
Indians added two more medals to their tally as Sanjivini Yadav and Annu Rani won bronze in women’s 5000m and javelin throw respectively. Sanjivini clocked 16 minutes 00.24 seconds. Annu Rani had a throw of 57.32m to end a successful day for India.