Rana, Bamhane earn quota spots for Youth Olympics

Javelin thrower Kunwer Ajairaj Singh Rana and middle distance runner Tai Bamhane today secured quota places for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, to be held in Buenos Aires in October.

Rana was the star of the show for India on the opening day of the Asian Area qualification leg of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

The 18-year-old managed to win the gold medal and qualify for the Games after throwing the spear to a distance of 76.13 metres.

The throw was nearly four metres further than that managed by second placed Kentaro Nakamura of Japan, who threw 72.04m.

Rana was not the favourite before the competition as his personal best until then was 68.94m, which he had managed at the Junior Federation Cup in April this year.

However, he surprised everyone at the Thai Japan Bangkok Youth Center with the throw of the competition. Vikas Yadav claimed the bronze medal with a throw of 68.65m.

Yadav though missed out on a Youth Olympic quota with only the top two athletes winning places for the Games.

Earning the other quota along with medals was Bamhane.

With the top three athletes of the race earning qualification for the Buenos Aires Games, the 15-year-old from Maharashtra claimed a silver medal in the women's 1500m race in 4:25.66 seconds.

She finished behind Yuki Kanemitsu of Japan, who clocked 4:24.21 seconds, while Guiping Zhang of China was a distant third with a time of 4:30.45 seconds.

Bamhane's time was the fastest of her career, bettering the 4:36.61 seconds she had clocked at the Junior Federation Cup in April this year.

Narrowly missing out on a quota place for Argentina was hurdler Aparna Roy, who fell short despite managing to set a new personal best with a time of 13.98 seconds to claim a bronze medal in the 100m hurdles, which was not enough in the end.


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