Tintu Luka disappoints at Worlds, qualifies for Olympics
Daegu (South Korea): India`s campaign in the World Athletics Championships ended on a disappointing note with woman 800m runner Tintu Luka failing to qualify for the final round though she booked a berth for 2012 London Olympics on Friday.
Luka clocked 2:00.95, her season`s best, to finish sixth in heat number two of the semifinals and 15th overall. She, however, booked a ticket to the London Olympics as she crossed the Games `B` qualifying standard of 2:01.30.
The 21-year-old Luka, the prodigy of legendary P T Usha, holds the national record of 1:59.17 but even that mark would not have been enough for her to qualify for the finals as the last and eighth athlete who made the grade clocked 1:58.98.
Defending champion Caster Semenya of South Africa led the time chart among the eight athletes, who were through to the final round with 1:58.07.
The Olympic qualification was a consolation for Luka though her effort today was a big disappointment. She was not expected to win a medal here but at least a final round qualification would have boosted her confidence.
But any effort below two-minute mark would have no chance for her to make it to the finals in such a big event as World Championships.
Another Indian who was to compete today, Renjith Maheswary pulled out from the men`s triple jump qualification round.
India were represented by eight athletes and just like any other previous World Championship campaigns, came back empty handed. Only discus thrower Vikas Gowda and long jumper Mayookha Johny reached the final round.
India have won just one medal in the World Athletics Championships with long jumper Anju Bobby George winning a bronze in 2003 in Paris.