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

India’s Murali Sreeshankar, of India, competes during 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 Championships finals after qualifying with a best attempt of 8m. He finished a creditable 7th but could not repeat a jump anywhere close to his personal best that would have certainly guaranteed him a medal. China’s Jianan Wang took home the gold with a best attempt of 8.36m which is exactly the same distance the Indian leapt in the Federation Cup in Kozhikode in April.

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

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

In the slowest steeplechase final in the history of the World Championships, Sable, who has broken the national record eight times finished 11th. Sable didn’t try to push the pace in the World Championship final with the best in the world chugging along smoothly. A brave charge would have been risky given the class of the runners ahead of him in the final.

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

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

In her second appearance in the Worlds final, the seasoned thrower could manage a seventh-place finish. Annu, who has broken the national record an unbelievable 9 times since 2014, could not bring out her A game when it was needed the most. Her series in the finals – 56.18m, 61.12m, 59.27m, 58.14m, 59.98m and 58.70m- don’t do justice to her experience and talent.

Eldhose Paul (Triple jump)
(PB:16.99m, Q:16.68m, Final:16.79m)

Eldhose Paul, of India, competes during qualifications for the men’s triple jump at the World Athletics Championships. (AP)

The 25-year-old was the last to reach Eugen, Oregon for the competition from India due to some visa complications. But he made his visit count as the Kerala athlete became the first Indian triple jumper to reach the Worlds final. While his compatriots Praveen Chitravel and Abdulla Aboobacker couldn’t join him in the 12-man final, Eldhose managed a 9th-place finish.

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

India’s Rohit Yadav in action during qualifying. (Reuters)

A 10th-place finish on Worlds debut may seem like a decent performance on paper but Rohit would be thoroughly disappointed. His best attempt was almost four metres short of his personal best achieved just last month in Chennai. The big competition nerves probably got the better of him/ The Worlds experience might help him to perform better at the upcoming CWG.

Tajinder Toor (shot put)
(PB:21.49m, SB: 20.34m Did not participate)The Asian record holder did not participate due to a groin injury he sustained in Chula Vista just ahead of the Worlds. Toor is going through a rough patch and has managed to breach the 20m mark just once this season. His “provisional” selection for the CWG, which he will skip now due to injury, despite a poor season raised eyebrows.

4×400 men’s relay
(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 US. Ramesh gave India the worst start possible, clocking 48.30s in his split. They finished second last overall. The services of Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv and Noah Nirmal Tom, part of the squad that broke the Asian record in Tokyo, were sorely missed.

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