Indian athlete PU Chitra has won a gold medal in 1500-metre women's final at the Asian Athletics Championships 2019 held at Doha on 24th April 2019. PU Chitra’s victory came in just 4 minutes 14.56 seconds on the last day of the mega event.
The victory has ensured her qualification for the IAAF World Championships scheduled to be held in September 2019. With this, Chitra also defended her 1500 meter title. She had won gold in the 2017 edition in Bhubaneswar, completing the race in 4 minutes 17.92 seconds.
Talking to media after winning the race Chitra said, "I had become a little nervous at the end being next to the Bahraini runner - Gashaw Tigest. She had beat me to 3rd place in the Asian Games so I had to really push hard in the end".
This was India’s third gold medal in the competition.
To recall, in the last Asian Athletics Championships that was held in 2017, Chitra’s name was involved in a controversy after she was not added in the list of athletes to represent India. But after getting orders from the Kerala High Court her name was incorporated in the 2017 list. She had received overwhelming support from the entire country for her battle against the Athletics Federation of India that did not give her a ticket at first.
She gave an answer to her critics by later winning gold medal in the championships. Chitra was off the track due to a knee injury for 3 months since her bronze medal at the Asian Games in 2018.
In the meantime, sprinter Dutee Chand also bagged the 1st medal of the day for the country as she managed a season best timing of 23.24 seconds to win bronze in the 200 meter race.
Meanwhile, in the men's 1500-metre final, Ajay Kumar Saroj also put up a great show to grab the silver medal, concluding only behind the gold medalist from Bahrain. His timing, 3:43.18 minutes, has been season best.
India have ended the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships with 3 gold medals, 7 silver medals and 7 bronze medals, behind Bahrain, China and Japan in the overall medals count.