Punjab athletes Satinder Singh and Sapinder Kaur ruled the 400m hurdles for men and women with modest clocking of 51.13 secs and 1:00.56 respectively on the penultimate day of National Senior Inter-State Athletics Championships at Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Monday.
The men’s line-up also included national record holder and Asian Games gold medallist Joseph Abraham of Kerala. Joseph, who normally move forward in the last 200m, made a late surge this evening and thus allowed the Punjab hurdler take the gold. Abraham finished second in 51.41 secs while his state-mate Avin A. Thomas collects the bronze at 51.89s.
With an injured Ashwini Akkunji, the reigning Asiad gold medallist in women’s division, decided to stay away, the women’s race become an open affair. Former national champion Sapinder Kaur quickly cashed in the opportunity to win the race comfortably from another Kerala athlete M.S. Darshana and her teammate K.A. Soniya, who finished third.
Prajusha wins triple jump
After a notable win in long jump on the opening day, national record holder Mayookha Johny decided to skip the women’s triple jump in order to preserve her energy for the big stage in Japan at the Asian championships. Although it made her compatriot M.A. Prajusha’s work easy, the Kerala girl made serious efforts to make the event lively. Prajusha delivered her season’s best jump of 13.53m on her third try-out today. Shradha Ghule of Maharashtra, the Commonwealth Youth Games champion, was second with 12.80m while Kerala girl Amitha Baby completes the podium with a 12.61m effort. It was indeed a consolation effort for the Maharashtrian who missed a medal in the long jump earlier.
In men’s hammer throw. Harvinder Singh outclassed his Uttar Pradesh teammate Chandrodaya Narayan Singh for the top spot. Harvinder sent the ball and chain to 66.21m while Chandrodaya’s best mark of the day measured to 63.44m.
Kavita wins 5K thriller
Surya Loganathan, the thin Tamil Nadu runner, did the front running. Preeja Sreedharan and Kavita Raut, who finished ahead of Surya in the 10000m, simply followed her till the last lap. When the runners approached the home-straight they started sprinting towards the post. Things could have been different if Preeja and Kavita made their “move” earlier. But the TN girl shows a fighting spirit and gave a trying moment for the country’s top two distance queens.
While Kavita was able to overcome the challenge, Preeja gave up the waning moments and thus allowed Surya to take the second place. “We really do not have an intention to run a fast race. We just returned to practice after a lay-off. Our main objective is to win a medal at the continental meet in Japan” was the reaction of Kavita after the race.
Asian junior champion Suresh Kumar Patel made an all out effort to win the men’s 5000m, clocking a career best 14:11.47.
Delhi thrower Saurabh Vij won the shot put by tossing the iron ball to 18.99m. The women’s pole vault witnessed a see-saw battle between local girl Khyathi and Kerala’s Remya. Both scaled an identical 3.40m but Remya got the gold medal on ‘count-back’.
A rain-marred men’s high jump event was won by Jithin Thomas, who represents Maharashtra here. Two Tamil Nadu jumpers Lakshmanan Yogaraj and Nikhil Chittarasu also cleared an identical 2.10m, but Jithin with lesser number of failures took the top spot.