A third time to the Olympics: Discus thrower Seema Punia books her Rio berth
Discuss thrower Seema Punia is all set to make a third Olympic appearance, with her gold winning performance at the Pat Young’s Throwers Classic 2016 at Salinas (California) in the United States on Sunday. The Asian Games discus gold medal winner made the cut with her season’s best of 62.62 metres throw at the event. And what’s more she exceeded the Rio qualification standrard which was set a 61.00 metres.
Punia will now be hoping to better her track record at the Olympics, having represented the country in in 2004 and then again in 2012, but not managing to get past the qualification round. The 32 year old is the 19th Indian track to have qualified for Rio Olympics. “There is a sea change from 2004 up to now. Discus throwing is my passion. This time I didn’t have much time to prepare, but I already have a gut feeling that Rio will be my best Olympic Games.”, said an elated Punia, as reported by TOI. The Haryana-based athlete will now be trained in the United States, with funds provided by the Sports Ministry under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme.
For those unaware of Seema Punia’s achievements, here is a quick recap. She is a gold medallist of the 2014 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China with a throw of 61.03m, a silver winner in the 2014 Glasgow CWG Commonwealth Games with an effort of 61.61m, a personal best scorer of 64.84m in 2004, also a silver medalist in 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and a bronze in the 2010 Delhi CWG. She has over 10 career marks over 61.00m.
Side-by-side, the 2010 CWG women’s discus champion Krishna Poonia won the silver medal at Chula-Vista Olympic Training Centre, San Diego, with a throw of 57.97 metres in a qualification competition.
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