Headlining India’s athletics campaign on Sunday at the 2018 Asian Games will be Dutee Chand, Mohammed Anas and Hima Das.
Teen star Hima along with Nirmala Sheoran will be running the 400m final while Dutee’s 100m semi-final is also scheduled to be held later today.
Hima clocked a time of 51.00 seconds to finish second in Heat 1 behind Salwa Naser of Bahrain. The 18-year-old from Assam also took the overall second position in the qualification stage. Salwa registered 50.86 seconds to create a new Games record which also handed her the overall top position in the qualification stage.
Nirmla won Heat 3 with a time of 54.09 seconds. Zenghuan Tong of China finished second with 54.29 to become the other automatic qualifier from that heat.
Today though, she faces tough competition from Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser for gold. The Nigerian-born Naser is the 2017 World Championships silver medallist and has won four legs of the prestigious Diamond League Series this year. Her 49.08 seconds timing while finishing second in the Monaco leg Diamond League Meeting last month is the Asian record and second leading time in the world this season.
National champion Dutee Chand, competing in her first big event after winning her gender case at the CAS, qualified for the semifinals of the women’s 100m with a timing of 11.38.
Running in lane 4, Dutee edged out Kazakhstan’s Olga Safronov (11.46) and Uzbekistan’s Nigina Sharipova (11.59) to win Heat 2. The effort was slightly slower than her national record (11.29) and the timing of 11:32 with which she had won gold at the National Games.
Asian champion Mohammed Anas also emerged as a strong gold medal contender in the men’s 400m by qualifying for the final with a timing of 45.30s. It was fastest time in the semifinal.
Anas cut down on his timing from the Heats as he had clocked 45.63 in the morning session. Arokia Rajiv also joined him in the final by clocking 46.08 in the semifinals. Chasing Anas are Mohammed Abbas (45.59), Abdalellah Hassan (45.83).
Men’s Long Jump (5:10 p.m.) – Sreeshankar
Women’s 400m (5:30 p.m.) – Hima Das, Nirmla
Men’s 400m (5:40 p.m.) – Mohammed Anas, Arokiarajiv
Men’s 10,000m (5:50 p.m.) – Lakshmanan Govindan
Women’s 100m Semis (5:00 p.m.) – Dutee Chand
Women’s 100m Finals (7:40 p.m.) – Dutee Chand (if qualify)
All the Athletics action will be shown live on Sony Espn and Sony Liv App.