Athletics Worlds - Avinash qualifies for 3000m steeplechase final; Annu finishes 8th in javelin final


India's Avinash Sable entered the men's 3000m steeplechase finals under dramatic circumstances, while Annu Rani finished eighth in the women's javelin throw event at the World Athletics Championships in Doha on Tuesday.

In the men's 3000m steeplechase event, Avinash clocked a timing of 8:25.23 to become the first Indian man to qualify for a track event final in the World Championships.

With the results, Avinash bettered his earlier national record of 8:28.94. He finished seventh in Heat 3 and 20th overall, out of 44 athletes who completed the race.

The top-three in each of the three heats and the next six-fastest athletes were to qualify for the final race.

However, it was noted that the 25-year-old was involved in two incidents during the race that blocked his path. In the first, Sable had to jump over another competitor as four-five athletes at the rear fell over each other. The second instance took place midway during the race when reigning junior World Champion Takele Nigate of Ethiopia bumped into an obstacle just in front of Sable. The Indian had to virtually climb up the obstacle as he was blocked by the Ethiopian, thereby losing crucial time.

Thereby, the AFI later filed an appeal, claiming that Avinash was obstructed by other athletes during the race, with a request to advance him to the final round. The race referee, after examining video footage, agreed that Avinash was significantly obstructed on the two occasions. India's protest was accepted and under Rule 163.2 (Obstruction), and Avinash was included in the final.

In the women's javelin throw event, Annu, who had earlier broken her own national record with a 62.43m throw on Monday, produced a best throw of 61.12m in the final round of competition. The 27-year-old opened with a 59.25m throw before coming up with efforts of 61.12m and 60.20m, which put her among the top-eight after three attempts -- giving her three more throws.

However, she could not improve upon her second-round throw of 61.12m, coming up with 60.40m, 58.49m and 57.93m, to finish eighth out of the 12 finalists.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Kelsey Lee Barber, won the gold with a final round throw of 66.56m while the Chinese duo of Asian Games champion Liu Shiying and Asian champion Lyu Huihui took the silver and bronze with efforts of 65.88m and 65.49m respectively.