Devinder, Sonia win gold in Asian Games test event
Jakarta, Feb 11 (PTI) India won two gold, three silver and as many bronzes on the opening day of the Asian Games invitational athletics test event here today.
Competing in his first event of the season, javelin thrower Devinder Singh Kang stamped Indian dominance in the event at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium.
Kang, a finalist at the 2017 World Championships in London, recorded a best effort of 75.87m to finish ahead of Ranasinghe Denagamage of Sri Lanka who had a best effort of 75.39m. 18-year-old Sachin Silwal added bronze for India with a best effort of 68.12m.
Kang, who recently began training under former world record holder Uwe Hohn, appeared out of touch initially and was trailing Denagamage until his final effort before producing a mark that put the gold medal out of reach of the Sri Lankan.
Sonia Baishya added to India's medal tally with a gold in the women's 400m.
Baishya, 22, ran the quartermile in 53.53 seconds to beat teammate Nithya Shree Ananda who clocked 54.34 seconds. It was a personal best for the West Bengal athlete bettering her previous best by 0.45 seconds.
Jithu Baby bagged a silver with a strong performance in the men's 400m. Jithu, the gold medalist at the Indian National Open Championships last year, clocked 46.88 seconds to finish 0.05 seconds behind Pattiya Mullewaththe of Sri Lanka.
The other two medals were added by V Neena and Nayana James in the women's long jump event.
Neena, the best Indian after Anju Bobby George, was nowhere near her best but still managed a leap of 6.42m. She finished ahead of compatriot James who cleared 6.16m in her final jump.
Competing in their first competition of the season, most Indian athletes appeared to be working their way into form. The exception though was Elakiyadasan Kannadasan. The Tamil Nadu sprinter had the worst possible start, with the slowest reaction time (0.152 seconds) and the disadvantage of running in the outermost lane.
Despite this, Elakkiyadasan clocked a credible personal best of 10.38 seconds to claim a bronze medal in the 100m in just his first outdoor competition of the season.
Elakiyadasan has been in impressive start to the year. Running in the Asian Indoor championships in Tehran last month, Elakkiyadasan had claimed bronze. With the season only warming up, the 22-year-old would be expecting to push himself even further with hopes of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games.