Tokyo: India discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur qualified for the finals after finishing second in the women’s discus throw qualification event at Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
Kamalpreet was only the second thrower who achieved the automatic qualification of 64.00m after USA’s Valarie Allman as the latter threw 66.42m in her first attempt. Meanwhile, Kamalpreet’s compatriot and veteran athlete Seema Punia failed to qualify for the finals.
Playing in her maiden Olympics, Kamalpreet threw her first attempt at 60.29 and improved massively by 63.97 on her second. But it was her third attempt that secured her automatic qualification in the 15 players’ field in Group B.
Earlier, taking part in Group A, Punia was the first to get going in the group. No one made the automatic mark from Group A as the qualification rules stated that the qualifying performance of 64.00 (Q) or at least 12 best performers (q) advance to the final.
Seema, who qualified at the very last possible instant for the Games, started the qualification with a foul throw. In her second attempt, Punia registered herself on the board with a throw of 60.57m and was then temporarily third.
In her last attempt, Punia threw the discus to the 58.93m mark and failed to replicate or even go near her season-best effort of 63.63m while her personal best is 64.70m.
All eyes will be on Kamalpreet Kaur again on August 2 when she takes the field in the final.
Earlier in the day, India’s ace archer Atanu Das bowed out of men’s individual event after losing to Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa in the 1/8 Eliminations Round at Yumenoshima Park.
Furukawa defeated 29-year-old Das by 6-4 in the decider to cruise into the quarterfinals of the men’s individual event.