Top athletes continued to show disinterest as performances dipped further in the second leg of the Indian Grand Prix meet at the NIS grounds here on Saturday.
On a day when the men's sprint title went for 10.70s and the women's at 12.47s, the saving grace was the 1:47.59 clocked by Ghamanda Ram in the 800 metres. It was his best in five years and brought him back into national focus after a liver ailment forced him out of action repeatedly between 2006 and 2008.
Ghamanda, formerly of the Army, now representing ONGC, had to do all the front-running on his own in a mediocre field in which Sajeesh Joseph was a prominent absentee, not to speak of Pankaj Dimri, who has not been heard of since clocking a 1:46.26 here during the inter-State meet last August.
Ghamanda has a best of 1:46.67, clocked in Hyderabad in 2005. His best since then had been 1 1:47.16 in Delhi in 2006.
Shamsher Pratap Singh produced an encore of his first-leg performance with his 7.77m in long jump, with Maha Singh improving on his May 3 show with a 7.62 for the silver.
In the absence of Mayookha Johny, who preferred to rest, National record holder M. A. Prajusha (13.72m), easily won the women's triple jump title, though with a below-par 13.02m.
The top two male triple jumpers of the country, Renjith Maheswary and Amarjeet Singh, skipped the contest, won by 18-year-old Arpinder Singh of Punjab. The boy had created a sensation at the Ranchi National Games with his gold-winning 16.62m that bettered the Junior National record. He managed only 15.90 this day.
With several leading runners absent, Andhra's Korada Mrudula won the women's 400m in 55.77s. Of significance was Jauna Murmu's 56.22 for the bronze, her timing almost close to her best for the 400m hurdles!
Men: 100m: 1. Krishna Kumar Rane (Mah) 10.70s, 2. Hemant Kirulkar (Army) 10.73, 3. Shameer Mon (Army) 10.74; 400m: Race ‘A': 1. S. K. Mortaja (Bengal) 47.35s, 2. Ajay Kumar (Har) 47.85, 3. J. Premanand (TN) 48.20; 800m: 1. Ghamanda Ram (ONGC) 1:47.59, 2. K. Ramulu (AP) 1:54.28, 3. Ramjan Khan (BSF) 1:54.42; High jump: 1. Jithin Thomas (Army) 2.00m, 2. Sidharth Yadav (Har) 1.80, 3. Bharat Inder Singh (Har) 1.75; Long jump: 1. Shamsher Pratap Singh (Pun) 7.77m, 2. Maha Singh (Pun) 7.62, 3. Bharat Inder Singh (Har) 7.06; Triple jump: 1. Arpinder Singh (Pun) 15.90m, 2. Bibin Dev (Army) 15.75, 3. Saurabh Singh (UP) 15.64; Discus: 1. Vikash Poonia (Raj) 49.92m, 2. Sunil Kumar (Har) 49.70, 3. Lakhwinder Singh (Har) 49.31.
Women: 100m: 1. Rebecca Jose (Kar) 12.47s, 2. Mandeep Kaur (Pun) 12.62, 3. Shalu Chaudhary (Del) 12.90; 400m: Race ‘A': 1. K. Mrudula (AP) 55.77s, 2. Sini Jose (Ker) 56.07s, 3. Jauna Murmu (Ori) 56.22; Triple jump: 1. M. A. Prajusha (Ker) 13.02, 2. Shradha Ghule (Mah) 12.37, 3. Shalu Chaudhary (Del) 11.83; Discus: 1. Amanpreet Kaur (Pun) 47.25m, 2. Promila (Har) 42.74, 3. Navjit Kaur (Pun) 42.21; Javelin: 1. Suman Devi (UP) 48.19m, 2. Megha Pardeshi (Mah) 44.43, 3. Gurpreet Kaur (Har) 41.37.
Keywords: Indian Grand Prix meet