Asian Games gold medallist Jinson Johnson bettered his own 1500m national record while clinching a silver in the ISTAF Berlin event in Berlin on Sunday. Johnson clocked 3 minute 35.24 seconds to finish second behind Joshua Thompson of United States at the Olympic Stadium. The earlier national record in the name of the 28-year-old Kerala runner was 3:37.86 which he had set at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year. He also holds the 800m national record (1:45.65). With his own national record shattering effort, Jinson also qualified for the World Championships to be held in Doha from September 28 to October 6. The World Championships qualifying time is 3:36.00. "I was expecting to set new national record but did not expect to win the silver. I will now go to Colorado in USA for further training and then to Doha for World Championships," Jinson said after the event. "I am very happy. But my ultimate aim is to do well in Tokyo 2020."
Jinson had won the 2018 Asian Games gold in 1500m with a time of 3:44.72. ISTAF Berlin is a part of the IAAF World Challenge meetings, the second tier of global one day athletics events. It is the penultimate leg of the IAAF World Challenge meetings this year.
The win continued Indian sprinters good run in 2019.
Top Indian sprinters Hima Das and Mohammad Anas won a gold each in women's and men's 300m races respectively at the Athleticky Mitink Reiter event in Czech Republic. This was Hima's sixth gold in European races since July 2 though the field in most of them has been mediocre. Her last win was on July 20 when she clinched a gold in her pet 400m event at Nove Mesto in Czech Republic. "Finished on the top in 300 m in the Athleticky Mitink Reiter 2019 today in Czech Republic," Hima tweeted after winning the race on Saturday. Anas, on the other hand, won the men's 300m race in 32.41 seconds. "Glad to have won the Gold in men's 300m at the Athleticky Mitink Reiter 2019 in Czech Republic in a timing of 32.41 secs," he tweeted. National record holder Anas has already qualified for 400m event for the World Championships to be held in Doha in September-October.
Hima Das extended her sensational run by claiming her fifth gold as she returned to her pet 400m competition with a season-best time of 52.09s, in Nove Mesto on Saturday. The timing is slower than her personal best of 50.79 seconds, which she managed at the Jakarta Asian Games and she also narrowly missed out on the World Championships qualifying mark of 51.80.
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However, it was better than the timing of 52.88 seconds, which she managed earlier in the season. It was Hima's fifth gold medal since July 2 when she ran her first competitive race in Europe. In her first competitive 200m race of the year, she clocked 23.65 seconds on her way to gold at the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix in Poland on July 2.