Kamalpreet Kaur, an Indian discus thrower, qualified for the finals after coming second in the women’s discus throw qualification event on Saturday at Olympic Stadium.
After USA’s Valarie Allman, who threw 66.42m in her first attempt, Kamalpreet became only the second thrower to accomplish the automatic qualification of 64.00m. Meanwhile, Kamalpreet’s fellow countrywoman and senior athlete Seema Punia did not make the finals. Each discus thrower was given three attempts; those who threw 64 meters or the best 12 throws from Groups A and B advanced to the final.
Kamalpreet, who was competing in her debut Olympics, threw a 60.29 on her first attempt and a 63.97 on her second. However, it was her third effort that ensured her automatic qualification in Group B’s 15-player field. Apart from Kamalpreet, Valarie Allman of the United States broke the 64m barrier with a throw of 66.42m.
Punia, who was in Group A at the time, was the first to get going in the group. No one from Group A received the automatic mark, as the qualifying performance of 64.00 (Q) or at least 12 best performers (q) was required to go to the final.
Team India’s Twitter handle tweeted, “there goes India’s first Athletics finalist at Tokyo 2020. After a slow start with a throw of 60.29m, Kamalpreet Kaur pulled out a monster throw of 64m in her third attempt to qualify for the final of women’s discus throw event.”
Seema, who qualified for the Games at the final possible moment, began her qualification with a foul throw. Punia was provisionally third after her second effort, when she produced a throw of 60.57 meters.
Punia threw the discus to 58.93 meters in her penultimate attempt, failing to match or even come close to her season-best performance of 63.63 meters, while her personal best is 64.70 meters. On August 2, all eyes will be on Kamalpreet Kaur when she competes in the final.