Indian discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur sealed her place at the Tokyo Olympics following a fine show at the 24th Federation Cup national athletics championships at the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala on Friday.
Competing against former Asian Games gold medallist Seema Punia, the 25-year-old Kamalpreet hit the ground running with a 65.06 metres throw in her first attempt to book her Tokyo 2020 berth. The Olympic cut was set at 63.50m.
This performance, the fourth-best in the world this year, also helped Kamalpreet break the existing national record of 64.76 metres that was set by Krishna Poonia in 2012. Kamalpreet had won a gold medal at the Federation Cup in 2019 as well.
The 37-year-old Seema Punia, meanwhile, took the silver with 62.64 metres in her first competition since the 2018 Asian Games while Delhi’s Sonal Goyal won the bronze with a 52.11 metres throw.
Later, India’s star sprinter Hima Das came good in the 200m final to win the gold medal in 23.21 seconds. The Olympic qualifying standard in the women’s 200m is 22.80.
Having struggled for form at the Federation Cup, the Indian international looked at ease in the final as she banked on her challenger’s speed in the initial phase before accelerating on the home stretch to win the title.
The timing also helped the Dhing Express rewrite the meet record set at 23.26 seconds in the heats on Thursday.
Dhanalakshmi Sekar, who surprised many with her blistering pace in the 100m final and later broke a 23-year-old meet record in the 200m, had to be content with a silver in 23.39 seconds.
Tamil Nadu’s Archana Suseendran completed the podium in 23.60 seconds.
Lead photo: Athletics Federation of India