Bhubaneswar: India kicked off its campaign on a positive note on the opening day of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships here with athletes easing into semi finals in 1500m, men’s 400m events.
Muhammed Anas, Rajiv Arokia and Amoj Jacob showed impressive performance to enter into the semis of the men’s 400 m event.
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. The third Indian Amoj Jacob also qualified for the next round by winning the third heat with a time of 47.09secs.
In the women’s 1500m India had mixed results with Chitra PU and Monika Chaudhary qualifying for the semi-finals from Heat 2 and 1 respectively.
Ajay Kumar Saroj and Siddhanta Adhikari made into the final rounds of men’s 1500 m event clocking 3:51.37 and 3:57.46 in first and second heats respectively. While Saroj stormed into the final rounds by topping his heat, Adhikari came second in his heat.
In men’s high jump, India’s B Chathan and Ajay Kumar made it to the final round after clearing identical heights of 2.10 m.
In men’s decathlon India’s Abhishek Shetty was showed impressive performance against the likes of Asian Championships silver medallist Guo Qi from China and Japan’s Kazuya Kawasaki.
In the evening session spectators will have eyes on national record holder discus thrower Vikas Gowda to make it three in a row after medals in 2013 and 2015 Asian Championships. Local boy Amiya Kumar Mallick will also look to put up a strong show when he turns out to compete in men’s 100 m event.