Seema joins the list of flops

Seema joins the list of flops

Croatian Perkovic bags women's discus gold

Seema joins the list of flops

Seema Punia joined the growing list of disasters in India’s Olympic track and field quest when she bowed out in the qualification stage of women’s discus throw on Monday night.

Seema, whose training trip to Russia had raised eyebrows, was ninth in her qualifying group and 20th overall with a mediocre 57.58-metre throw. On a night when rain bothered all the competitors, the Indian started with a 57.58, fouled the next round and finished with a 56.78, looking far from ready for the competition.

The Haryana thrower had created a controversy when she went off to Russia, a country reeling under a doping avalanche, for a training stint without taking permission from the Athletics Federation of India.

The training, obviously, has had no effect with the Indian, whose best stands at 64.84 metres, unable to come close to the qualifying mark of 62.00 metres. Yaime Perez of Cuba led the charts with a 65.38 metres, followed by China’s Su Xinye with 65.14. Croatian favourite Sandra Perkovic also moved up with a 64.81.

Perkovic was back after a few hours for the final on Tuesday morning and won the gold as well, with just one valid throw. Her first two attempts were fouls but she nailed it with a 69.21 in the third before fouling her next three tries. Perez had no such luck – she fouled all her first three throws to crash out.

India, fielding their biggest athletics contingent to an Olympics, has had little success so far. Lalita Babar’s final entry in the 3000M steeplechase and her national record has been the only bright spots in a dismal campaign.

Result: Women's discus throw: Sandra Perkovic (Croatia) 69.21 metres, 1; Melina Robert-Michon (France) 66.73, 2; Denia Caballero (Cuba) 65.34, 3.

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