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Abha Khatua sets national record in women's shot put at National Federation Cup Athletics

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Bhubaneswar, May 13 (PTI) Abha Khatua set a national record in women's shot put with a big throw of 18.41m during the second day of National Federation Cup Athletics Competition here on Monday.

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Abha, who is representing Maharashtra, was the joint record holder of 18.06m with Manpreet Kaur before this competition. But with her fifth round throw of 18.41m at the Kalinga Stadium, she became the sole national record holder.

Her effort was though well short of Olympics qualifying mark of 18.80m, which no Indian woman has ever been able to reach. The qualifying window ends on June 30.

Uttar Pradesh's Kiran Baliyan (16.54m) and Delhi's Srishti Vig (15.86m) finished at the second and third position respectively.

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In men's 200m final, Animesh Kujur of Odisha ran an impressive 20.62 seconds, one-tenth of a second off the two-year old national record of 20.52 seconds in the name of Amlan Borgohain.

The 28-year-old Abha, who hails from a poor family, started athletics when she was in 7th standard.

Born to a farmer father at Khurshi village near Narayangarh town in West Bengal’s West Midnapur district, Khatua tried out many athletics events before settling for shot put four years ago.

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Initially, she dabbled in 100m, 200m, 400m, long jump and javelin. She also participated in heptathlon in 2017-18 but since she was not good in high jump (one of the seven events in heptathlon), she shifted to shot put at the end of 2018 and joined the national camp at Patiala in 2019.

However, 2021 proved to be a tough period in her life as she suffered from COVID-19, chikungunya, and high uric acid and also sustained an injury to her right elbow which affected her career as she could not do well in the National Inter-State. PTI PDS She had also missed out of the Asian Games after throwing 16.39m for a third place finish at National Inter-State Championships in Bhubaneswar, which was the final selection event.

Abha later threw 18.06m to equal Manpreet Kaur’s national record while winning a silver medal in the Asian Championships in Thailand in July and then won the shot put event at the Indian Grand Prix 5 with an effort of 18.02m. PTI PDS ATK

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