Kazakhstan: Four-time Olympian Seema Punia added another feather to her cap as she secured a silver medal in the women’s discus throw event at the Qosanov Memorial 2023 athletics meet held in Kazakhstan on Saturday. Punia, the 2014 Asian Games champion, recorded a distance of 57.35 metres to claim the second position, surpassing the Asian Games 2023 qualifying standard of 57.00 metres set by the Athletics Federation of India.
Seema Punia’s campaign in the Kazakh athletics meet began with a 56.48-metre attempt, and despite facing two fouls, she replicated the exact same distance with her fourth effort. However, it was her fifth throw that stood out as her best, propelling her to the silver medal position.
The gold medal in the women’s discus throw event went to Olympian Subenrat Insaeng of Thailand, who achieved a distance of 59.67 metres. Local athlete Karina Vasilyeva secured the bronze in the six-woman field with a throw of 47.70 metres.
This competition marked Seema Punia’s second event of the year, following her triumph at the national championships in Bhubaneswar last month, where she recorded a distance of 56.50 metres to claim gold. Prior to that, Punia last competed at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, where she finished fifth.
Seema Punia, who holds a personal best of 64.84 metres in the women’s discus throw, continues to showcase her prowess in the sport. It is worth mentioning that the Indian national record in women’s discus throw stands at an impressive 66.59 metres, achieved by Kamalpreet Kaur at the Indian Grand Prix 4 in 2021.
Although the Athletics Federation of India had designated the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar as the final selection trials for the Hangzhou Games scheduled later this year, Seema Punia’s exceptional performance at the Qosanov Memorial adds another dimension to the selection process, highlighting her consistent form and potential contribution to the Indian contingent.