Vikas sails into discus final

Last Updated 27 August 2015, 19:03 IST

Vikas Gowda was not required to pull out his best as he moved into the discus throw final of the World Championships in athletics here on Thursday.

The 32-year-old Indian came up with an effort of 63.86 metres in the qualifying round. While it fell short of the automatic qualification mark of 65.00 metres, it was enough to place him within the top-12 who advanced from two qualifying groups.
The Asian champion was fourth in Group A of 15 throwers and seventh overall. Jamaica’s former world youth and junior champion Fedrik Dacres led the pack with a 65.77 metres heave. Poland’s Piotr Malachowski, silver medallist last time, was the only other thrower to cross the 65-metre mark, reaching 65.59.  
“It is okay, my first aim was to qualify and I achieved that,” said Vikas, who will be making his third appearance in the final of a World Championship. He was seventh in the last two editions. The circle was a little slippery but it was okay. Now I will focus on throwing farther in the final (scheduled for Saturday),” added the Indian champion.

Vikas started with that 63.86 and in the second round his throw measured 63.84. Stretching out in the final throw, the Indian fouled it but was well-placed to qualify with his fourth place in the group.
Malachowski, the season’s leader, was in danger of missing the cut after fouling the first-round throw and reaching only 59.08 in the second but he pulled out a big one when he needed it to march into the final.

In Group B, held later, no one managed to touch 65M. Gerd Kanter of Estonia, the former Olympic champion, was the best performer there with a 64.78, followed by Robert Urbanek of Poland (64.23) and Germany’s Christoph Harting (64.23), the brother of three-time champion Robert, who has skipped these championships because of a knee injury.

Iran’s former Asian champion Ehsan Hadadi was among those crashing out, managing only 60.39 metres.

The discus final is scheduled for Saturday.

(Published 27 August 2015, 19:03 IST)

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