World Championships: India’s best ever showing in track and field but Neeraj Chopra the only shining star

Indian Murali Sreeshankar, from India, competes in the men’s long jump final at the World Athletics Championships. (AP)

The 23-year-old became the first male long jumper to reach the World Cup final after qualifying with a best attempt of 8 meters. He finished a creditable 7th but couldn’t repeat a jump close to his personal best that would have definitely guaranteed him a medal. China’s Jianan Wang took the gold with a best effort of 8.36m, which is exactly the same distance the Indian jumped in the Federation Cup in Kozhikode in April.

Avinash Sable (Steeplechase)
(PB: 8:12.48s, Q: 8:18.75, Finals: 8:31.75)

Avinash Sable finished fifth in the Diamond League. (SAI)

In the slowest steeplechase final in World Championship history, Sable, who had broken the national record eight times, finished 11th. Sable didn’t try to pick up the pace in the World Championship final as the best in the world plodded along smoothly. A brave attack would have been risky given the class of runners ahead of him in the final.

Annu Rani (javelin throw)
(PB:63.24m, Q:59.60m, Final: 61.12m)

Annu Rani, from India, competes in the women’s javelin final at the World Athletics Championships. (AP)

In her second appearance in the World Cup final, the seasoned pitcher was able to finish in seventh place. Annu, who has broken the national record a whopping 9 times since 2014, was unable to release her A game when it was most needed. Her runs in the final – 56.18m, 61.12m, 59.27m, 58.14m, 59.98m and 58.70m – do not do justice to her experience and talent.

Eldhose Paul (triple junction)
(PB:16.99m, Q:16.68m, Final:16.79m)

Eldhose Paul, from India, competes in the men’s triple jump qualifiers at the World Athletics Championships. (AP)

The 25-year-old was the last to reach Eugen, Oregon for the competition from India due to a number of visa complications. But he made his visit count when the athlete from Kerala became the first Indian triple stacker to reach the World Cup final. While his compatriots Praveen Chitravel and Abdulla Aboobacker were unable to join him in the 12-man final, Eldhose managed to finish 9th.

Rohit Yadav (javelin throw)
(PB:82.54m, Q:80.42m, Final: 78.72m)

Rohit Yadav from India in action during qualifying. (Reuters)

A 10th place finish on Worlds debut may seem like quite an achievement on paper, but Rohit would be thoroughly disappointed. His best attempt was nearly four meters shorter than his personal best he set in Chennai last month. The big competition nerves probably got the better of him / The Worlds experience could help him perform better during the upcoming CWG.

Tajinder Toor (shot put)
(PB:21.49m, SB: 20.34m Didn’t compete) The Asian record holder didn’t compete due to a groin injury he sustained in Chula Vista just before the World Cup. Toor is going through a difficult period and has only managed to exceed 20 meters this season. His “provisional” roster for the CWG, which he will now skip due to injury, despite a poor season, raised eyebrows.

4×400 relay men
(PB: 3:00.25s, Q: 3:07.29)
It was a disappointing outing for the relay team of Rajesh Ramesh, Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Muhammed Ajmal and Naganathan Pandi, who finished last in their heats, 8.33 seconds slower than leaders in the US. Ramesh gave India the worst possible start, with a time of 48.30s in his split. They finished second to last overall. The services of Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv and Noah Nirmal Tom, part of the team that broke the Asian record in Tokyo, were sorely missed.

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