Preeja finishes 25th in 10,000m; Harwant, Krishna fail to qualify

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Beijing, Aug 15 (UNI) Indian women started their campaign poorly with throwers Harwant Kaur and Krishna Poonia failing to qualify while Preeja Sreedharan finished at a dismal 25th in the 10,000m event in the Olympic Athletics competition here this evening.

The 26-year-old from Kerala, Preeja struggled to keep herself in the field of 32 athletes as she came up with a poor timing of 32:34.64 which was nowhere near to her personal best of 32:04.41.

Preeja had clocked her personal best time in London in June this year which enabled her to gain the Olympic B qualification.

The event was won by Ethopia's Tirunesh Dibaba setting a new Olympic record in 29:54.66.

Turkmanistan's Elvan Abeylegesse with 29:56.34 earned the silver, while US's Shalane Flanagan finishing third for bronze in 30:22.22sec.

Running in lane six, the Indian was seen among the batch of leaders in first 300m but she started slipping after that.

With Russian and British runners taking her over, she slipped further, and meanwhile, Dibaba, who started from lane nine burst out of the block and led the field after that.

In discus, Krishna finished 24th with a throw of 58.23 while her compatriot Harwant Kaur ended 30th with a throw of 58.23.

Both the throwers were far off their personal best marks.

Krishna's personal best is 61.53, while Harwant's personal best is 63.05.

In heptathlon, National champion J J Shobha posted personal best best in 100m hurdles that enabled her to take 29th place at the end of four events on the day one of the two-day event.

Shoba was ahead of compatriots GG Pramila and Susmita Singha Roy who finished 32nd and 34th respectively.

Shobha, who hogged the limelight in the Athens Olympics by running despite a torn ligament, totalled 3482 in 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m, while Pramila collected 3419 and Susmita 3391 points respectively.

The combined events' contest got off with the 100m hurdles with the Indian trio vying for good timings. Shobha went on to post her personal best timing of 13.62, which fetched her 1033 points.

Pramila (983) and Sushmita Singha Roy (963), however, nowhere near their best as they timed 13.97 and 14.11 respectively.

In high jump, it was Pramila, who came up with her personal best and she leapt 1.74m to win 903 points. In the same group, Shobha cleared 1.65, her season's best, which earned her 795 points.

Sushmita cleared 1.71m to finish 18th and added 867 points to her tally.

In shot put, Shobha cleared 13.07 for 732 points, while Pramila (639) hurled 11.66 and Susmita (613) 11.27.

In 200m, the fourth and final event of the day, Shobha (922) timed 24.62, Pramila (894) 24.92 and Susmita (948) 24.34.

The three remaining events - long jump, javelin and 800m events will be held tomorrow.

UNI HSB RAR GC2200

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