Shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by breaking the Asian record at the fourth Indian Grand Prix at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala.
Asian Games champion Toor threw the iron ball to a distance of 21.49 metres on Monday to seal his place for Tokyo. The Olympic qualification mark for shot put is set at 21.10 metres.
The 26-year-old Tajinderpal’s performance bettered the Asian record of 21.13 metres set by Sultan Abdulmajeed Al-Hebshi of Saudi Arabia at Doha in 2009.
The previous national record was also held by Toor. His 20.92 metre throw came at the National Open Championships in 2019.
However, the women’s relay team failed to place itself inside the Olympic qualifying bracket despite the record effort of its own.
The quartet of Hima Das, Dutee Chand, S Dhanalakshmi and Archana Suseendran clocked 43.37 seconds to win the race ahead of India ‘B’ team (48.02 seconds) and Maldives (50.74) in the three team race.
The Indian team bettered the previous record of 43.42 seconds set at the Kazakhstan championships in 2016 by the quartet of Merlin K Joseph, H M Jyothi, Srabani Nanda and Dutee. But the quartet failed to clock below 43.05 seconds needed to be among the top 16 teams in the Road to Tokyo list.
Sixteen teams will participate in the women’s 4x100m relay at the Olympics, of which 14 have qualified. The remaining two teams will be determined by rankings.
India was placed 22nd before Monday’s race on the basis of its 43.81 seconds performance during the 2019 Asian Championships. Monday’s 43.37 seconds will take India to the 20th spot.