Kartik Kumar and Sanjivani Jadhav claimed gold medals in the 10,000m races on opening day of the 25th National Federation Cup Senior Athletics Competition.
Uttar Pradesh's Kartik Kumar had a winning time of 29:20:21 in the grueling 10,000m men's race held amidst the warm and humid conditions of Kerala. To emerge victorious in such condition speaks volumes of Uttar Pradesh athletes' potential.
Kartik Kumar’s coach Surinder Singh Bhandari expressed his views over the phone from Kozhikode.
“He (Kartik Kumar) has the capabilities to clock a sub-29 minute for the 25-lap track race if environment is conducive for distance running.”
Bhandari, a former international runner and national 10,000m record holder, expressed his satisfaction with Kartik Kumar’s Saturday performance.
“I hope Kumar is able to further improve his performance to qualify for the Commonwealth and Asian Games."
Himachal Pradesh’s Sawan Barwal took home silver with a time of 29:21:29, while bronze went to Gulveer Singh of Uttar Pradesh. The latter crossed the finish line in 29:22:44.
The men’s 10,000m race was hotly contested with the top seven runners finishing below 30 minutes. Uttar Pradesh's Ajay Kumar, who finished seventh, clocked 29:34:07 seconds.
While Kartik Kumar had to dig deep to win gold in the men’s race, it was a comfortable victory for Sanjivani B Jadhav of Maharashtra in the women’s 10,000m contest. She crossed the finish line in 33:13:07.
Seema of Himachal Pradesh was second with a time of 34:31:44 and Kavita Yadav of Uttar Pradesh came third with a timing of 34:56:42. The field in the women’s race was depleted as on five athletes stepped up to the starting line.
Results in field events
The women's pole vault was the first field event where medal winners were decided on the opening day. Tamil Nadu’s Rosy Meena Paul Raj was the winner of the gold medal with a height of 4m. Rosy’s team-mate Baranican Elengovan won silver with 3.90m. Haryana’s Pooja took home the bronze with 3.80m.
The excitement of India’s ace sprinter Hima Das competing in the women’s 100m died down as she pulled out of the preliminary round. As expected, Dutee Chand emerged as the fastest runner in the heats and comfortably entered the medal round. The runner from Odisha clocked 11.51 seconds in her heats.
Punjab’s Gurindervir Singh didn't start the semis of the men’s 100m event. In his absence, the onus will be on Harjit Singh, who is also from Punjab. He was the second fastest runner in the semis with a time of 10.53 seconds.
Siva Kumar B of Tamil Nadu was the fastest with 10.47 seconds during the men’s 100m semifinal races.
Maharashtra’s Aishwarya Mishra was the fastest runner in the women’s 400m preliminary heats as she clocked 52.41 seconds.