London: Standing 6 feet 9 inches tall, India's Vikas Gowda became only the seventh Indian to qualify for the finals of the track and field event at the Olympic Games when he hurled the discus to 65.20 metres for an automatic selection.

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Gowda, who trains in the United States, breached the 65m mark in his second attempt, having managed a throw of 63.52 m in his first throw.

The automatic qualification standard for the discus final was set at 65m.

Iran's Ehsan Hadadi was just behind Gowda with a throw of 65.19m.

The finals will be held on Tuesday at 07:45pm local time. (Wednesday morning 12.15 am IST).

All the Indian hopes are lying on his back, as he is not in London just to make the numbers but with a goal to end independent India's long wait for an Olympic medal in track and field.

Gowda's form can be assessed by the fact that the US-based Indian recorded his personal best throw of 66.28m in April this year.

Independent India has not seen an Olympic medal in athletics although Milkha Singh came close to winning a bronze at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

Gowda is also only the second Indian to make the finals in track and field at the ongoing Games after Krishna Poonia, who eventually finished seventh in women's discus throw.

The other five Indians to make it to the final round of Olympic Games' track and field events are Milkha Singh (400m), Gurbachan Singh Randhawa (110m hurdles), Sriram Singh (800m), P T Usha (400m hurdles) and Anju Bobby George (Long Jump).


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