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Who Is Abha Khatua? Shot Put Athlete Sets Women's National Record

Shot putter Abha Khatua made history on May 13, 2024, with a record-breaking throw at the National Federation athletics meet in Bhubaneswar.

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Tanya Savkoor
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Image: Mohamed Farzan/Sportskeeda

Shot putter Abha Khatua made history on May 13, 2024, with a record-setting throw at the National Federation athletics meet in Bhubaneswar. The athlete representing Maharashtra marked 18.41 metres in her fifth attempt to win gold and surpass the national record set by Manpreet Kaur in 2022. Khatua had previously equalled the national record of 18.06 metres at the Asian Athletics Championships 2023, showcasing an outstanding improvement from her previous personal best of  17.13 metres. The 28-year-old missed the chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics by 0.39 cm. UP’s Kiran Baliyan won the silver while Srishti Vig from Delhi took home the bronze from the event.

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Who Is Abha Khatua?

Spectators at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar witnessed a historic moment as Abha Khatua threw the 4-kilogram ball to a distance of 18.41 metres, setting a new national record for women's shot put. Khatua, who belongs to Khurshi village near Narayangarh, West Bengal, began her journey in the game in 2018. She moved to Maharashtra in 2019 for work and switched from glide to rotation technique in 2022.

Speaking to Sportstar after her record-breaking win, Khatua remarked, “In the Indian Grand Prix in Bengaluru, I did not get the right kind of ball and did 17.56m. Here it was fine. My change in technique has helped me improve. I think I can achieve the Olympic qualifying mark of 18.80m." Manpreet Kaur set the previous record at the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships 2022 in Chennai.

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Abha Khatua received her first significant break in the shot put when she was enrolled at the Sports Authority of India hostel in Kolkata in 2018. She has also shown her athletic prowess in other games like javelin, track and field 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, and the heptathlon. She mentioned that the heptathlon helped her improve her overall athleticism. 

In 2022, Khatua's 17.09-metre throw at the 1st Indian Open Throws Competition in Patiala secured her a glittering gold medal. She missed her chance to compete in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, but shone at the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships, where she finished second by throwing 18.06 meters and equalled Manpreet Kaur's shot put national record.

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