Two years ago, Annu Rani became the first Indian women to qualify for the World Championship in the javelin throw. She then created a national record of 61.86m at the 2017 Federation Cup to qualify for the London Worlds that year. She also won bronze in Asian Games 2014.
But since then, her performance had gone downhill. She failed to throw above 60m in 2017 and2018. She was not picked for the Asian Games until the last moment. She got the entry through Inter-Railway Meet. She failed to bring medal in Jakarta as she could only come up with 53.93m.
Annu Rani in 2019:
The 26-year-old Rani, who represented Uttar Pradesh, hurled the spear to a distance of 62.34m, nearly half a metre more than what she recorded in 2017
Annu Rani in 2019 has qualified for the World Championship to be held in Doha in September-October later this year. She qualified for Asian championship which is also to be held in Doha.
Annu Rani on her performance and struggle:
“Yes, you can say there has been a sort of mental block as I was not being able to do my best during competition. I was doing well during practice but it was not getting translated on the field. I focused a lot on this medal aspect and it came off good today” Rani said. “ I have been in that learn for some time and it happens to athletes. I hope my performance graph will be now on the up”.
How Annu Rani managed to motivate herself?
Rani said she improved her technique with the help of her coach Baljeet Singh, who has been with her for the last few months. “We have made changes in her technique. The speed of her hand was slowing down at the point of release and we worked on that. The angle of release was still high even today. Earlier, she was throwing wide and so we worked on her angle of throw. Also, she was getting the power from the side of her body”, Singh said. “ We worked to make changes in all these and that too in the two-three months I have been with her.”
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More athletes to follow the good run:
Four other runners also crossed the Asian Championships qualification standard in men’s 10,000m race besides Kumar but only two out of five can take in the continental meet in Doha next month. Uttar Pradesh’s Abhishek Pal was second with a time of 29.22.37 and the bronze went to Kalidas Hirave of Maharastra who clocked 29.25.16. Defending champion Tamil Nadu’s G Lakshmanan was fourth clocking 29.26.41 and VasudevNishad of UP came Fifth with a timing of 29.31.42.
While she didn’t manage to meet the AFI guidelines, Kerala’s Krishna Rachna set a new meet record in the women’s pole vault competition. The 25-year-old improved on V Surekha’s five-year-old meet record of 4.05m by clearing a height of 4.06m. The jump was also a new personal best of Rachan, who had a previous best of 3.95m recorded in Bhubaneswar in 2018.