Gowda qualifies for final discus round

London: India’s top discus thrower Vikas Gowda kept himself in the medal reckoning on Monday as he qualified for the final round of the London Games by finishing at the top of Group A and fifth overall with an impressive performance at the Olympic Stadium here.

The USA-based Gowda started with a throw of 63.52m, but then hurled the 2kg disc to a distance of 65.20m in his second attempt to book an automatic berth in the final round to be held just after midnight on Wednesday, India time.

The final round entry standard was set at 65m mark or the best 12 sail through.

Gowda is also only the second Indian to make the finals in track and field at the ongoing Games after Krishna Poonia, who eventually finished seventh in women’s discus throw.

29-year-old Gowda’s fine effort brought some cheer to the Indian contingent, which has so far failed to make much of an impression in the athletic arena.

The Indian was one of the six throwers who secured automatic qualification by clearing the 65m mark.

Gowda, who has a personal best of 66.28m, did not exert much in the qualification round and he did not take the third attempt after achieving the qualification mark.

“The first throw slipped out of my hand but I knew the second was a good one. My first aim to qualify and I have achieved that,” Gowda said. (PTI)

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