Shot at glory: Abha Khatua sets national record in women’s shot put, Olympics qualification next target : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

federation cup

Shot at glory: Abha Khatua sets national record in women’s shot put, Olympics qualification next target

Shot at glory: Abha Khatua sets national record in women’s shot put, Olympics qualification next target

Abha Khatua broke the record with a throw of 18.41m.



Tribune News Service

Vinayak Padmadeo

new delhi, May 13

Shot putter Abha Khatua confesses that she is now a big fan of Ryan Crouser, the two-time Olympics gold medallist and three-time world champion. The only catch is that she has been watching his videos ever since she changed her throwing technique from gliding to rotation, sometimes also referred to as the spin technique.

Tamil Nadu’s Nithya Ramraj won gold medal in the women’s 100m hurdles event.

Abha today bettered the national mark with an eye-catching throw of 18.41 metres at the National Federation Senior Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar. She had jointly held the previous record with Manpreet Kaur at 18.06m, which she achieved at the Asian Championships in Bangkok in July last year while winning silver.

Tamil Nadu’s Manav R won gold medal in the men’s 110m hurdles event. PTI photos

Abha changed her throwing style much like her current favourite Crouser around 2022. This was because unlike other throwers in her category, Abha is not bulky, neither is she tall. As her progress could have plateaued due to the limitations in her old technique, which would have required relying only on power, coaches, including Gursimran Singh and Radhakrishnan Nair, helped her change her style.

“It is an old school of thought that you have to be big if you are competing in shot put. In today’s times you need speed, you need to be flexible and strong. I use rotation, as my body type is not like girls who are competing against me. I only weigh 83-84 kilograms but I have explosive power,” Abha, who was representing Maharashtra in the event, said.

Abha could have made the qualifying mark of 18.81m for the Paris Olympics. Her third attempt was pegged at 18.85m but was registered as a foul throw.

“My target is to register a throw of 19m. Unfortunately, I got to 18.85m but it was a foul throw. I am a little disappointed but I have some competitions before the cut-off date and hopefully I can qualify,” she said.

But while the technical shift is starting to bear fruit, it was anything but a seamless change. She threw a little over 14m at the National Games in 2023 and the change cost her dearly as she was injured before the last qualifying event for the Asian Games.

“Balance was the problem. I could not get my bearings right as to where my feet should be. It was a big decision. Had I continued with the old technique I would have easily made the mark of 17m to qualify for the Asian Games. But today’s throw would never be possible with that old technique,” she said.

In her first steps in track & field, Abha, who hails from Midnapore district in West Bengal, dabbled in sprints. When she entered college, she took interest in javelin and heptathlon. However, in her own words, she was average in high jumps and the event would cost her many points but something clicked in shot put.

“While doing heptathlon, I did shot put and threw 13.5m. In the 2019 Federation Championships, I bettered it to almost 15m after which I was picked in the national camp and I have never looked back,” she said.

Animesh blazes in 200m

Odisha’s sprinter Animesh Kujur narrowly missed the national record in the men’s 200m as his gold winning time of 20.52 seconds fell short of the national and meet record. Amlan Borgohain set the record of 20.52 seconds in 2022.

Four-week Olympics preparations in Poland

A total of 19 track and field athletes have qualified for the Olympics and head coach Radhakrishnan Nair said the team will train in Spala, Poland, for four weeks before travelling to Paris. Nair also said the AFI is still hopeful of the mixed 4x400m relay team’s Paris qualification despite its failure in Bahamas during the World Relays. Only two slots remain up for grabs. “Our mixed 4x400m team will take part in the Asian Relays (May 20-21 in Bangkok) and we can qualify for Paris if we run below 3 minutes, 14 seconds,” he said. PTI

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


Top News

Modi’s urban Naxal remark insult to 3 cr Punjabis: Kejri

Modi’s urban Naxal remark insult to 3 cr Punjabis: Kejri

After Shah’s statement, Mann dares BJP to topple his govt

Bibhav’s bail petition rejected, to move High Court

Bibhav’s bail petition rejected, to move High Court

RS MP Maliwal alleges threat to life

Prajwal says will appear before SIT on May 31

Prajwal says will appear before SIT on May 31

apologises to his parents, grandfather gowda


Cities

View All