Seema qualifies for London Games

 Seema Antil has become the second Indian woman discus thrower to make the cut for this year’s London Olympics by achieving the ‘A’ qualification mark at the University of California (Irvine) Open Championships in the United States.

She achieved 62.60 metres to book her ticket to London. Seema, who has been training for the last six months with coach Tony Ciarelli, achieved the mark in her very first throw of the competition on Saturday. She will start her next phase of training in two days’ time.

“I am feeling very good, I feel I could have thrown the discus over 64 metres but coach would like me to save those throws for the Olympic Games,” Seema said after achieving the Olympic qualifying mark.

“I am now looking to keep improving and achieve my target of a medal at the Olympics. I am thankful to the Mittal Champions Trust for having faith in me and giving me the opportunity to train with the best coach in the world. It is because of them I have managed to hit a distance of 62 metres after seven years,” she added.

Tony, who has been working with her for the last few months, said, “I am happy this is over with and we can go into the next phase of our training programme.”

Earlier this year, Krishna Poonia had also qualified in the same event for the Olympics, achieving the ‘A’ standard.

Among men discus throwers, Vikas Gowda has made the cut for the mega-event in July-August.

Other Indian athletes who have qualified are: Gurmeet Singh and Baljinder Singh (20km walk), Om Prakash Singh (shot put), Mayookha Johny (triple jump), Tintu Luka (800M), Ram Singh Yadav (marathon).

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