India's long distance runner Govindan Lakshmanan who had clinched the 5000 and 10000 m gold in the recently held World Athletic Championships bettered his personal best mark but it was not enough to qualify for the final round of the men's 5000m race in the World Athletics Championships in London on Thursday.
The 27-year-old clocked 13 minute 35.69 second, nearly one second better than his earlier personal best of 13:36.62, in the first round heat number one which earned him the 15th spot in a top class field, featuring defending champion Mo Farah from Great Britain.
Overall, Lakshmanan finished 31st as top five from each of the two heats and the next fastest five from among the remaining runners qualified for the final
Lakshmanan is the only Indian so far to have performed better than his personal best. His effort was all the more impressive as the race was run under incessant rain which lashed the Olympic Stadium throughout the day, forcing a drop in temperature to below 15 degrees Celsius.
"This is my first World Championships and I came into the race thinking of breaking the national record. I could not do that because it was a bit tight at the home stretch. But at least I could run better than my personal best. I could not qualify for the final round but I am not disappointed because I have done my best. I will train hard and I will break the national record," Lakshmanan said after the race.
The national record of 13:29.70 stands in the name of Bahadur Prasad since 1992. "I feel happy that I ran with Mo Farah. To run along with him was one of my dreams and I did that today. I have gained a lot of experience from this race," he added.