Inter-State Athletics: Jaisha pockets steeple gold with a national record
Patiala, 8 Aug 2010
It was a hot and humid evening on the final day of the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships here on Sunday. The weather was sultry when the proceedings begun at 4:00 p.m. and everyone wonder if any good performances have come out from the athletes who assembled here with aspirations to gain a berth in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games at New Delhi and Asian Games at Guangzhou.
However once they get on to the track and field, the athletes did not fail to return with some outstanding marks. Leading the brave-hearts was woman steeplechaser O.P. Jaisha. An Asian Indoor champion over 1,500m and bronze medalist in 5,000m at the Doha Asiad, Jaisha took steeplechase only two years ago when she clinched the national title at Madurai Inter-State championships. But no one predicted a national mark from her on Sunday except some senior Kerala state officials who put their hope on the tiny runner.
With national record holder Sudha Singh also on the fray, it was difficult to consider Jaisha as a winner. However, Jaisha ran shoulder to shoulder with Sudha till the last lap made her move on the bell and increased her tempo when she start approaching the final straight to become an eventual victor cap it with a new national mark 10:03.05. Sudha was a distant second in 10:14.68.
Jauna Murmu (Orissa), who recently switched over from 400m flat to hurdles, was in a fine form and improved the meet mark with a time of 57.46 secs. However it was a shade away from her personal best and Asian All-Star Meet winning mark of 57.39 secs.
Asian champion Om Prakash Singh tossed the iron ball to a distance of 19.99m to prove his mettle in the men’.
Double for Sunil and Geetha
Haryana’s Sunil Kumar Singh and Andhra Pradesh sprinter Satti Geetha completes a double. Geetha, a versatile 400m runner in the past and a regular member of national relay quartet in various global competions, concentrate in 200m at recent times having won silver medals in the Federation Cup at Ranchi and Open Nationals at Kochi this May. After a surprise win over H.M. Jyothi of Karnataka in 100m on the opening day, Geetha comfortably got the top spot in 200m on Sunday evening clocking a modest 24.08 secs.
The Haryana lad Sunil Kumar Singh had similar victories in 5000m on the opening day before completing the double this morning with a victory over 10000m with a time of 29:55.22.
Kerala state retained the team championships with 8 gold, 7 silver and 3 bronze medals, closely followed by hosts Punjab (7-4-5) and Haryana (7-3-5).
Pankaj Dimri of Uttarakhand for his performance in men’s 800m (1:46.86) and Mandeep Kaur of Punjab for her mark of 52.13 in women 400m have adjudged the best athletes of the four-day national championships.