Parul Chaudhary, representing India, demonstrated an impressive feat at the World Athletics Championships held in Budapest, Hungary. While her performance secured her the 11th position in the women's 3000m steeplechase finals on Sunday, August 27, it also etched a significant mark in the record books. Her remarkable effort led her to establish a new national record and secure a place in the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics.
During the heats of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Parul Chaudhary showcased her prowess by clocking an individual best time of 9:24.29 seconds. However, her determination and skill shone even brighter in the finals.
She managed to outdo her previous performance, completing the race in an impressive 9:15.31. This outstanding achievement not only surpassed her compatriot Lalita Babar's record of 9:19.76 set during the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil, but it also exceeded the qualifying standards for the women’s steeplechase event at the Paris Olympics, set at 9:23.00.
A Remarkable Feat
Although Parul Chaudhary's remarkable display of skill and dedication didn't secure her a medal at the event, her accomplishment was of immense significance. Not only did she establish herself as a force to be reckoned with in the field of women's steeplechase, but she also provided her fellow athletes with a new national record to strive for. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) recognised and commended her exceptional performance, acknowledging its role in elevating the aspirations of her compatriots in the world of athletics.
Who Is Parul Chaudhary?
On August 23, at the 2023 World Athletics Championships held in Budapest, 28-year-old Indian athlete Parul Chaudhary made the nation proud as she qualified in the finals of the steeplechase. The steeplechase is a footrace that takes place over several obstacles on track and field including fences, ditches and water.
Chaudhary hails from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. The athlete who already won a gold in the Asian Athletics Championship in July 2023 for the 3000 m women's steeplechase championship is now headed to the 15-women finals to be held on August 27.
Chaudhary fought through the tough conditions of humid Budapest in the evening hours and managed to stay in the leading group in Heat 2 Women's 3000 m steeplechase and secured the fifth spot in the race.
Chaudhary broke her personal best record of 9:29.51s she secured in the Los Angeles Grand Prix with a podium finish in May. She has now recorded a 9:24.29s in Heat 2 securing the fifth spot, booking her place in the finals.
While the Commonwealth game star Avinash Sable could not touch the finals of 5000 meters men's steeplechase, Chaudhary's win delighted the nation amidst the celebration of Chandrayaan-3.
In 2022, at the World Athletics Championships, Chaudhary made her new personal best in the 3000 m steeplechase with a timing of 9:38.90s at the time. It's a proud moment indeed for India to see women athletes making their names amidst global tracks and surpassing their own personal records, showcasing an impeccable display of hard work and passion.
Chaudhary became the first Indian after Lalita Babar to qualify for the World Championships finals; Lalita secured 8th position in the 2015 pre-finale while Chaudhary secured 5th. Chaudhary also became the 2nd Indian after Jeswin Aldrin to reach the final at 2023 World Athletics with Jeswin securing 8th position in the men's long jump.
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