Asian silver medallist Annu Rani produced her best in her last throw in the qualification round and entered the women’s javelin throw final at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA, on Wednesday. It will be Olympian Rani’s second final in her third consecutive Worlds.
National record holder Rani, who was eighth at the last Worlds in Doha in 2019 and has a personal best of 63.82m, fouled her first attempt and had a mediocre 55.35m in her next before producing a 59.60m in her last effort. Though it was behind the automatic qualification mark of 62.50, which only three achieved, it was enough to see her finish eighth overall (fifth in her group ‘B’) and enter the final which is open to the top 12. The final will be held on Friday evening (Saturday morning in India).
Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi, a finalist at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, topped the qualification with a season-best 64.32m while China’s Olympic champion and Asian Games gold medallist Shiying Liu was second with 63.86.
Australia’s Kelsey-Lee Barber, the defending World champion and Olympic bronze medallist, was among those who progressed to the final but American Maggie Malone, this year’s World leader with 65.73m, could only manage 54.19m and failed to make the cut.
In fact, none of the three who had crossed 65m this year will figure in the final. Tatsiana Khaladovich, the No. 2 in this year’s World list (65.70), missed the championships as her country Belarus was banned by World Athletics after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine while Greece’s Elina Tzengko, the 2022 No. 3 with 65.40, was 20 th in the qualifiers with 57.12 and failed to progress further.
Parul Chaudhary, the other Indian in action on Wednesday, was 17th in her heat (15:54.03s) and 31st overall in the women’s 5000m and failed to enter the final. Parul had won the bronze at the last Asian Champonships (Doha, 2019) with a personal best 15:36.03. It was her second event at these Worlds, she had clocked a personal best in the 3000m steeplechase heat earlier but failed to make the final.