Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur finished a creditable sixth in her first Olympics with the best throw of 63.70m in a rain-interrupted final on Monday. The 25-year-old Kaur, who qualified for the final as the second-best on Saturday, was never in the running for a medal in the final event which was interrupted by rain for more than an hour.
She had a third-round throw of 63.70m to end at sixth and equal 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Krishna Poonia’s performance in the 2012 London Olympics. Throughout the competition, Kaur, who was without her personal coach, looked nervous and short of confidence as she lacked international exposure.
Also, the rain played a big part in mentally draining the athletes as the organizers were reluctant to stop the proceedings even as rain poured on the field. It was only after a couple of discus throwers slipped while releasing their discus that the organizers were forced to stop due to a concern about the safety of the players.
She has taken part in World University Games in 2017, her lone international competition. A farmer’s daughter at Punjab’s Kabarwala village, Kaur had raised hopes of India’s elusive athletics medal after finishing second in the qualification round on Saturday with a best throw of 64m.
American Valarie Allman took the gold with a first-round throw of 68.98m while Kristin Pudenz (66.86m) of Germany and reigning world champion Yaime Perez (65.72m) of Cuba won the silver and bronze respectively.
Two-time defending champion Sandra Perkovic of Croatia was fourth with a best throw of 65.01m.