DOHA, April 21: Dutee Chand smashed her own national record in the women�s 100m dash heat to qualify for the semifinals while Hima Das suffered a back spasm to bow out of the women�s 400m race on the opening day of Asian Athletics Championships here on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Dutee clocked 11.28 seconds to win the heat number four of the women�s 100m race and qualify for the semifinals. She bettered her earlier national record of 11.29 seconds which she set last year in Guwahati.
The Odisha runner, however, could not touch the 11.24 second qualification mark for the World Championships, to be held here in September-October.
Other top Indian athletes like Jinson Johnson (men�s 800m), Muhammed Anas and Arokia Rajiv (both men�s 400m), Praveen Chitravel (men�s triple jump) and Gomathi Marimuthu (women�s 1500m) expectedly advanced to the next round of their respective events.
National record holder Johnson clocked 1:53.43 in men�s 800m heats to finish second behind Qatar�s Jamal Hairane and qualify for the semifinals. Mohammed Afsal, who was named in the team in place of Manjit Singh, won his 800m heat in 1:52.93 to qualify for the semifinals.
In women�s 800m, Gomathi Marimuthu clocked 2:04.96 to finish second in her heat and qualify for the finals. The other Indian in the event, Twinkle Choudhary, could not qualify for the semifinals after finishing fourth in her heat with a timing of 2:07.00.
Arokia Rajiv won his men�s 400m heat with a timing of 46.25 seconds to advance to the semifinals while Anas clocked 46.46s to finish third in his heat and also advanced to the semifinals.
In men�s triple jump, Chitravel finished ninth with a jump of 15.66m to qualify for the finals.
The 19-year-old world junior champion and national record holder did not finish the heat number one which was won by Nadeesha Ramanayaka of Sri Lanka.
�She had spasm at L4 and L5 (two lowest vertebrae in the lumbar spine). The doctor who attended her informed us and he said nothing serious. She will be alright within a day or two,� deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair said in a statement.
The injury has put Hima�s participation in the women�s 400m relay (on Tuesday) and women�s 4X400m relay on Wednesday in doubt though Nair said it was not a serious injury.
It is however learnt that the injury cannot also be dismissed as a minor one and whether Hima will take part in the women�s 4x400m relay and mixed 400m relay will be decided in a day or two.
�You cannot just dismiss the injury to be a minor one also. So, we have to see her condition tomorrow or Tuesday and take a call after that. Fingers crossed and let us see,� a well-placed source told PTI. The other Indian in the fray, MR Poovamma (52.46 seconds) finished second in her heat behind gold medal favourite Salwa Naser of Bahrain to qualify for the final round. � PTI