Lion-hearted Gowda finishes 7th

Indian discus ace targets London Olympics; Mayookha crashes out

Competing in his third World Championships, Vikas came up with a throw of 64.05 metres in the third round in the event won by Germany’s Robert Harting with a 68.97M effort.
The Indian was aiming for a top-eight finish here and though he achieved that target, he was a touch disappointed that he couldn’t go even further.

“I certainly could have done better,” said Vikas, whose best of 64.96 is the national record. “I am happy I competed really well, coming back to earn a place in the final eight, but a couple of metres more, and I would have been among the medals.”

Vikas was in danger of missing out on the last three throws (only the top eight among the 12 finalists get six throws) after efforts of 60.79 and 61.51 in the first two rounds. The 28-year-old then came up with a big heave and immediately knew that he had made it, clenching his fists even as his father Shive Gowda looked on from the stands.

That 64.05M effort, however, proved to be his best for the day, his subsequent throws registering 62.81, 62.16 and 62.16.

“I wasn’t nervous at all going for the third round. I knew I could do it. Mentally I am there now and physically, I am in great shape. In such situations, it is hard to be perfect technically but I am confident I can push on from here,” said the US-based Indian, who has already qualified for next year’s Olympic Games.

“I will go back and start preparing for the Olympics now. I have been improving with every meeting and next year could be a big one for me,” he said.

Harting, meanwhile, defended his title with ease, delivering a throw of 68.49 in the first round and improving it to 68.97 in the fourth, brushing aside talk of an injury. Gerd Kanter of Estonia, the 2007 champion, won silver with 66.95 and Ehsan Hadadi, the Asian champion, took bronze at 66.08, his season’s best. European champion and silver medallist at Berlin, Piotr Malachowski of Poland, was ninth at 63.37.

Mayookha exits

Mayookha Johny’s first World Championships ended with her exit at the qualification stage of the women’s triple jump. Mayookha, who had finished ninth in the long jump on Sunday, ended up 19th with an effort of 13.99 metres.

The Indian champion has a best of 14.11 set while winning the bronze at the Asian Championships in July.

On another hot morning, only three jumpers – Yargeris Savigne (14.62) and Mabel Gay (14.53) of Cuba and Caterine Ibarguen (14.52) of Colombia -- made the automatic qualifying mark of 14.45 metres.

Also advancing by finishing in the top-12 was Asian record holder Olga Rypakova (14.33) of Kazakhstan. Asian champion this year, China’s Li Ximei, crashed out after finishing 25th with an effort of 13.75.

Mayookha was tenth in her group and had a series of 13.64, 13.99 and 13.79.

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