Beijing: Though Inderjeet Singh became the first Indian to qualify for the shot put final at the World Athletics Championships, he ended 11th and last in the summit clash at the Bird’s Nest here on Sunday. Inderjeet came up with a best throw of of 19.52 meters in his first attempt of the final. The reigning Asian champion was disqualified on his second chance while his third attempt yielded a lowly 18.68m, putting him out of contention for the next three attempts.
American Joe Kovacs clinched the gold with a heave of 21.93m while David Storl of Germany (21.74m) and Jamaica’s Richards O’Daynhe (21.69) took silver and bronze, respectively. There were 12 competitors in the final but one did not start. Inderjeet, who clinched a bronze at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, was in better form in the qualification stage where he logged a best of 20.47m to finish fourth in Group A and overall eighth to qualify for the final. The sturdy left-hander from Haryana is the third Indian after Anju Bobby George (women’s long jump) and Vikas Gowda (men’s discuss throw) to reach the final of World athletics. Inderjeet’s season best throw of 20.65m is also his personal best.
In the Group A qualifier, Inderjeet disappointed with a throw of 19.15m in his first attempt and was disqualified in his second. However, he made a strong come back to make it count on his third and final chance with a throw of 20.47m which was enough to finish fourth in Group A and qualify for the final. Seven competitors qualified from Group A while five entered the final 12 via Group B. The qualifiers were also topped by Kovacs, who threw a distance of 21.36m. Earlier in the day, Baljinder Singh finished a creditable 12th in the men’s 20 km race walk, clocking his personal best time of one hour, 21 minutes and 44 seconds. The race was won by Miguel Lopez in 1:19:14, which is also the Spaniard’s personal best. Baljinder’s compatriots Gurmeet Singh finished 36th in 1:25:22 while Chandan Singh was 42nd in 1:26:40.