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India win three bronze, Poonia flops in Asian Athletics

Kobe (Japan): Discus thrower Harwant Kaur, middle distance runner O P Jaisha and decathlete Bharat Inder Singh bagged a bronze each as India continued their medal hunt on the second day of the 19th Asian Athletics Championships here on Friday.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist discus thrower Krishna Poonia, however, failed to make it to the podium as she finished fourth.

Harwant, who had bagged a silver in the Commonwealth Games last year, could clear only 57.99m, well below her personal best of 63.05m, but was enough to win a bronze as all other competitors had come up with mediocre performances at the Kobe Universiade Stadium.

China`s Sun Taifeng won the gold with 60.89m while compatriot Xuejun Ma bagged the silver with an effort of 59.67m.

Poonia, who returned to action only last month after a long injury lay-off, could only throw the discus to 56.23m, way below her personal best of 63.69m.

She, however, expressed happiness at her performance as she was just coming out from a knee injury.

"I am happy with my fourth place finish with 56.23m which is my season`s best. I had been laid low for long due to a knee injury. So I am happy," Poonia said.

Meanwhile, in women`s 15,00m race Jaisha clocked 4:21.41 to win bronze behind Genzeb Shumi Regasa (4:15.91) of Bahrain and Thanh Hang Truong (4:18.40) of Vietnam. Another Indian Jhuma Khatun was disqualified.

Bharat added the last medal of the day for India in men`s decathlon after collecting 7358 aggregate points in the 10-event competition. Iran`s Hadi Sepehrzad (7506) won the gold while the silver went to local favourite Akihiko Nakamura (7478).

With the three bronze today, India`s medal count rose to five. Yesterday, Mayookha Johny had won gold in long jump while Vikas Gowda and Preeja Sreedharan had added a silver and a bronze in discus throw and 10,000m race respectively.

Asian Games 400m hurdle gold medallist Joseph Abraham qualified for the final along with compatriot Satinder Singh after both finished third in their respective heats.

Abraham and Satinder clocked 50.94sec and 50.95sec respectively.

Ramachandran Ramdas missed out on a podium by finishing fourth in men`s 3,000, steeplechase with a timing of 8:46.08.

In women`s heptathlon, Sushmita Singha Roy was at second spot with 3232 points after four events behind Wassana Winatho of Thailand (3496).

The Indian men`s 4x100m relay team of Ritesh Anand, Krishnakumar Rane, Shameer Mon and Rahamatulla Molla also made it to the final after finishing fourth in the heat in 40.13secs.

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