Gold Coast, April 10: In a big boost for Indian athletics, Muhammad Anas came agonisingly close to winning a medal at the 400m run but settled for a credible fourth place finish with national record-breaking performance at Commonwealth Games here on Tuesday (April 10).
Anas clocked 45.31, marginally improving his own record of 45.32 which he set at the Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi last year. It was first time that an Indian was competing in a final of 400m run at CWG since legendary Milkha Singh competed in 1958.
However, Anas' effort was not enough for a medal, falling short by just 0.2 seconds, finishing behind winner Isaac Makwala (44.35), Baboloki Thebe (45.09) and Javon Francis (45.11).
After two disappointing days, the athletics competition at the #CWG2018 comes alive for India. Mohammad Anas with a new NR and a impressive fourth place finish in the men's 400m and 18-year-old Hima Das qualifying for the final of the women's event too. Brilliant stuff pic.twitter.com/u63khCBmch— jonathan selvaraj (@jon_selvaraj) April 10, 2018
In another stunning show, Hima Das qualified for the final of the women 400m with a a personal best of 51.53. She had finished third in her semifinal, shaving off 0.44 off her previous personal best, but eventually made the cut as seventh fastest among eight finalists. Das had stunned everyone by qualifying for the CWG and continued to spring surprise with her effort.
It was a day of positives for India. Heena Sidhu bagged the gold medal in the 25M pistol event. She cleared 38 points, a Games record, during her gold rush.
This race I ran only to gain experience. NR is a bonus. Now I just want to go and sleep. Too much effort this was: Anas, taking deep breaths between words, says after his 4th place finish in 400m #GC2018Athletics pic.twitter.com/EjIaWkq7aq— Mihir Vasavda (@mihirsv) April 10, 2018
Heena earlier won the team 10m air pistol gold during the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in Delhi. She also bagged the silver in the individual 10m air pistol in the 2010 CWG. In 2014, she qualified for the 10m air pistol final but failed to bag a medal.
Both the hockey teams - men's and women's - qualified for the CWG semifinals. While India beat Malaysia 2-1, thanks to Harmanpreet Singh's brace, Rani Rampal secured a win for India against South Africa. Both sides did not have the best of starts in the CWG. The men drew 2-2 with Pakistan, while the women lost to Wales.