Vastavam web: Medal contender quarter milers Rajiv Arokia and Mohammed Anas eased into the semifinals while all the other Indians in their respective individual events also made it to the final rounds on the first morning of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships here today. Arokia qualified as the best finisher in the preliminary round after winning the second heat with a timing of 46.42secs while national record holder Anas was second in the first heat in 46.70 seconds at the Kalinga Stadium here. The third Indian in the fray, Amoj Jacob also qualified for the next round by winning the third heat with a time of 47.09secs.
The Kerala athlete has already qualified for the World Championships to be held in London in August.In men’s 1500m, India’s Ajay Kumar Saroj topped the qualifying timings to storm into the final round, along with compatriot Siddhanta Adhikari. Saroj clocked 3:51.37 to win the second heat while Adhikari was second in the first heat with a time of 3:57.46.In women’s 1500m race also, Monika Choudhary and P U Chitra qualified for the final round.The morning session show minor glitches on the scoreboard and finish line wirings, which, however, did not impact on the results. The Indian officials said that all these will be sorted out by the evening session.
“This is the first session of the championships, there can be minor glitches here and there. This session is more of a trial of all the equipments. Everything will be all-right by this evening,” an AFI official said.In the evening session on Day 1, national record holder discus thrower Vikas Gowda will hope to make it a hat-trick of Asian Championship titles after winning gold in Wuhan (2015) and Pune (2013).