London: Quarter miler Nirmala Sheoran's semi-final qualification in the women's 400m was the saving grace in yet another disappointing day for India at the World Athletics Championship.
In the men's marathon, T Gopi finished a poor 28th while Siddhanth Thingalaya crashed out in the heats, finishing seventh in the 110m hurdles.
The 22-year-old Nirmala clocked 52.01 seconds to finish fourth in her heat in the women's 400m first round. She took the last spot among the six best finishers.
The Haryana girl will have to come up with a performance better than her personal best of 51.20 seconds in the semifinals tomorrow if she wants to qualify for the final. Running at the inner lane number 2, Asian champion Nirmala was slow off the blocks and she was running at the fourth at the final bend.
She tried her best to beat Zoey Clark for a third place aiming automatic semi-final qualification but failed in the end.
19-year-old Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain, the 2015 World Youth Championships gold winner, led the 24 qualifiers into the semifinals with a time of 50.57 secs.
Rio Olympics champion Shaunae Miller of Bahamas was third best with 50.97 seconds in the first round heats.
National record holder men's 110m hurdler Thingalaya crashed out in the first round as he finished seventh in his heat and 31st overall in a 39-man field, clocking 13.64secs, well outside his season's and personal best of 13.48 secs.
"I thought it was a good race but it was not enough for a semifinal spot. I am not disappointed with the timing, it was OK," Thingalaya said after his race.
Gopi was 53rd at the 5km mark in 16 minutes 3 seconds but moved up to 40th at the 10km mark in 31.42. He continued to move up with increased pace and occupied 35th at the hallway mark. He was 31st at the 30km mark and went on improving his position before eventually finishing the race at 28th place.
Gopi had done better in the Rio Olympics as he had finished 25th with a personal best timing of 2 hr 15 minutes and 25 seconds.
In women's heptathlon, Asian champion Swapna Barman was lying at 27th among 28 contestants with just one event to go. She now has 4610 points from six events. She finished 16th in javelin throw and 29th in long jump today.