Two years ago, Kamalpreet Kaur sneaked in with a new meet record in discus throw to win the Federation Cup even as all eyes had been on Commonwealth Games medallist Navjeet Kaur Dhillon.
On Friday, the towering Punjab girl did an encore, overshadowing veteran Seema Punia with a humongous throw that obliterated all records and gave her a ticket to Tokyo.
Kamalpreet’s first throw of 65.06m went past the nine-year old National record of 64.76m by Krishna Punia and the Olympic qualifying mark of 63.50m.
That her remaining throws were fouls mattered little. It is also the fourth best throw in the world this year.
Could have done better
“I wanted to do even better but for some reason got nervous. Maybe because I had made 65m already, I kept stepping over. But next time I will be ready,” she told The Hindu. “With nothing happening for a year, I trained with stuff like beds and flowerpots in the village. I had prepared well but was unable to sleep properly for the last three days with nervousness and excitement.”
She knows it will only get tougher. To put in context, her attempt here would only have placed her fourth at Rio.
While Gurmeet Singh set a new meet record in hammer throw, Hima Das won the battle between a star and the new kid on the track in 23.21 seconds in the 200m, bettering Dhanalakshmi’s 23.26 meet record set on Thursday.
The results: Men: 200m: 1. Elakkiyadasan Kannadasan (TN, 21.19s), 2. Akshay Nain (Del, 21.27), 3. Vignesh A (TN, 21.57); 5000m: 1. Amit Jangir (Raj, 14:05.30), 2. Abhishek Pal (UP, 14:08.59), 3. Puneet Yadav (Har, 14:08.80); 400m hurdles: 1. Dharun Ayyasamy (TN, 50.16s), 2. Santhosh Kumar T (TN, 51.49s), 3. Sathish K (TN, 52.11); Hammer throw: 1. Gurmeet Singh (Pun, 69.97m), 2. Jaswinder Singh (Pun, 63.22m), 3. Taranveer Bains (Pun, 62.75m); Triple jump: 1. Karthik U (Ker, 16.73m), 2. Abdulla (Ker, 16.59m), 3. Eldhose Paul (Ker, 16.53m).
Women: 200m: 1. Hima Das (Asm, 23.21s), 2. Dhanalakshmi (TN, 23.39), 3. Archana Suseendran (TN, 23.60); 5000m: 1. Parul Chaudhary (UP, 16:03.23), 2. Sanjivani Jadhav (Mah, 16:08.36), 3. Komal Jagadale (Mah, 16:18.48); 400m hurdles: 1. R. Vithya Ramraj (TN, 59.59s), 2. Nanhi (Har, 59.94), 3. Salini Krishna (Ker, 1:00.57); Discus throw: Kamalpreet Kaur (Pun, 65.06m), 2. Seema Punia (UP, 62.64m), 3. Sonal Goyal (Del, 52.11m).