30- year-old Gomathi Marimuthu has made India proud by giving the country its first gold at the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships. Hailing from Tamil Nadu, Gomathi Marimuthu ran with a very clever strategy for fighting her way out from the back and shocking the field for getting her hands on the women’s 800 metres honours. This is Gomathi’s first major gold.
The championship was held at Khalifa International Stadium where Gomathi Marimuthu moved straight to the back and the midway while two leading runners blocked her. She then, to the surprise of China’s Wang Chunyu and Kazakhstan’s Margarita Mukasheva, moved at the outer lane and went on to received the coveted medal in her personal best 2:02.70s. At Patiala, she recently scored her previous best of 2:03.21 at the Federation Cup’s golden run.
The Stars Who Shined
Gomathi Marimuthu was not the only one who made every Indian proud. 23 years old Shivpal Singh bagged the silver in his second round attempt of 86.23m and didn’t fail to keep the javelin throw away from the limelight. This effort came very close to his personal best of 82.56 metres which he scored last month in Patiala at the Federation Cup. This also made him the second—best Indian of the event after Neeraj, a gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
Other honorary mentions include M.P. Jabir who won bronze in men’s 400 metres hurdles and Saritaben Gayakwad who took home bronze for the women’s hurdles. Arokia Rajib and Muhammed Anas had won silver and gold at the last Asians held in Bhubaneshwar and the latter even came second in Asian Games. Arokia, with 45.37s, seemed to be in the medal zone as the end was near but Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Litvin beat him with 445.25s. Anas, with 46.10, came last while Abbas Abubaker from Bharain (45.14) and Yousef Karam (44.84s) bagged the silver and golden respectively.
Breaking Records, Winning Hearts
Dutee Chand won her semi-finals with 11.26s which is slightly lower than her 11.28s run in the first round of women’s 100m where she broke her own National Record. Avinash Sable bagged silver in men’s 300m while Gavit Murli Kumar won bronze in the men’s 10,000 metres. Gavit, with his personal best of 28:38.34s is the second-fastest Indian in that event, after the 28:02.89 of Surendra Singh.