Discus throw champ Seema Punia clinches Rio Olympics berth
Asian Games discus throw gold medal winner Seema Punia has qualified for the Rio Olympics with a 62.62-metre effort at the Pat Young's Throwers Classic 2016 at Salinas (California) in the United States
New Delhi: Asian Games discus throw gold medal winner Seema Punia has qualified for the Rio Olympics with a 62.62-metre effort at the Pat Young's Throwers Classic 2016 at Salinas (California) in the United States.
Seema, 32, crossed the Rio Games qualification standard of 61-metre at the Hartnell College Throwers Complex with her season's best effort of 62.62. She won gold in the event and in the process pipped 2008 Olympic discus throw champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton of United States of America.
This will be Seema's third Olympic Games appearance, having taken part in 2004 and 2012, although she failed to get past the qualification round on both occasions. She is the 19th Indian track and field athlete to have qualified for the Rio Olympics.
Seema, now training in the United States with funds provided by the Sports Ministry under the Target Olympic Podium scheme, had won a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, with a throw of 61.03-metre. She had also won a silver in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games with an effort of 61.61.
The Haryana-based athlete has a personal best of 64.84, which she did way back in 2004. She had also won a silver at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. She has over 10 career marks over 61-metre.
Dingko, a Padma Shri awardee, is survived by his wife Babai Ngangoma, a son, and a daughter.
Paris represents the final opportunity for India to upgrade their single women's quota place to team invitations in Japan as India would look to qualify a second and third recurve archers to join the Deepika who is all set for her third successive Olympics.
With just over a month until the 23 July opening ceremony, organisers are in the home stretch and scrambling to finalise virus rules and get participants vaccinated in time.