Hangzhou, September 29
Kiran Baliyan became the first Indian woman to win an Asian Games medal in the shot put event in 72 years as she picked up bronze on the opening day of the track and field competitions here today.
The 24-year-old Baliyan hurled the iron ball to a distance of 17.36 metres in her third attempt for her best effort of the day to open India’s account in athletics.
Baliyan thus became only the second Indian to win a medal in the women’s shot put after Barbara Webster, an Anglo-Indian from Bombay, won bronze in the inaugural edition in New Delhi in 1951.
Baliyan has a personal best of 17.92m, which she had produced in the Indian GP-5 in Chandigarh on September 10. “I did not know the history. My focus was to produce my best. I could not do that. But I won a medal, so I am very happy,” she said.
Manpreet Kaur finished fifth with 16.25m.
Aishwarya Mishra qualified for the final of the women’s 400m after finishing second in Heat 1 with a season’s best time of 52.73 seconds. In men’s 400m, Muhammed Ajmal qualified for the final after finishing second in his heat with a 45.76, while Muhammed Anas Yahiya failed to make the grade after clocking 46.29 for a third-place finish in his heat.
In women’s hammer throw, Tanya Chaudhary (60.50m) and Rachna Kumari (58.13m) finished seventh and ninth, respectively.
In the morning, Priyanka Goswami and Vikash Singh both finished fifth in the women’s and men’s 20km race walk events, respectively. — PTI
Accidental shot putter
The daughter of a traffic police head constable in Meerut, Kiran Baliyan began her journey in shot put because of a mistake nine years ago. “When I was young, I was not into any specific sport but played many sports. I even did javelin throw,” the 24-year-old said. In 2014, though, Baliyan found her calling because of an error. “My name was entered by mistake instead of another girl’s and I took part. There were just three girls and I finished third. I started my career from there,” she said.
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