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National Athletics Championships: Day 1 goes to Punjab

Field day for Punjab:  Harwant defends title while Hardeep excel in come-back

Patiala, 5 Aug 2010

Hammer thrower Hardeep Kaur brought the first gold to hosts Punjab on the opening day of National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championship here.  The 33-year-old Hardeep, working in Punjab Police, exhibits excellent athleticism when she set out the ball and chain to an amazing 61.21m and bettered her own meet mark of 60.79m.  However, it was just short of her national mark of 61.67m which she achieved while winning the open nationals eight years ago.

Punjab women are dominating the above event ever since its inception in the Inter-State programme in 1995, with eight titles in 15 years.  The inaugural edition was won by Jagdeep Kaur at Chennai with a low profile 35.74m throw.  Surinderjit (1997 and 1999) and Rajwinder (2002) followed the tradition with better performances before Hardeep took the limelight in 2003 nationals at Jamsehdpur.  She followed her success story with wins in 2004 and 2006 (both at Chennai) before clinching her fourth title today.

Hardeep touched the 61m twice on her fourth (61.03) and fifth (61.21) attempts, but could not improve the eight year old national mark.  “I will give my best during the Commonwealth Games although the line-up will be tougher in New Delhi” she explained after the event.

National Athletics Championships

National Athletics Championships

Harwant retains discus throw title

The top three Indian athletes in women’s  discus throw—Krishna Poonia, Harwant Kaur and Seema Antil—once again lined up on the grounds of Asia’s prestigious sports institution at Moti Bagh.   Krishna Poonia opened with a 60.03m throw on her first try.  However Harwant gained control over the event from the second round and become a clear victor with a 60.66m throw achieved in the third attempt.  Krishna could manage only 60.44m for the silver while the national record holder and former World junior bronze medalist Seema Antil settled with a bronze medal (56.06m).

Nagaraj won dead-heat, Geetha upstaged Jyothi in sprints

Karnataka’s B.G. Nagaraj locked-in with Krishna Rane of Maharashtra as the duo crossed the finish-line together in men’s 100m.  Nagaraj declared winner after reading the photo-finish.  Both the athletes clocked an identical 10.55 secs.    Kerala’s Sameermon become a victim as a loosely fixed starting block came out and stumbled down the athlete and his hope to win a medal in the final.

In what considered be a biggest upset of the day, Satti Geetha of Andhra Pradesh pushed favourite H.M. Jyothi (Karnataka) to the second spot in the women’s race 11.80 secs to 11.84.

In the absence of star Renjith Maheswary, the men’s triple jump event was won by Amarjeet Singh.

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