Dharambir and Satti Geeta are the fastest man and woman
Sahana Kumari of Karnataka provided the only silver lining on an otherwise dull and drab opening day by equalling the Olympic B qualifying mark of 1.92mts in the women’s high jump final in the Greenko National inter-State senior athletic championship at the GMC Balayogi stadium here on Saturday.
The women’s high jump event started after a two hour delay which highlighted the poor organisation of the meet on the first day. The entire stadium was empty even as Sahana reached her target. In the process she beat the meet record and National record of 1.91mts set by Bobby Aloysius.
The 31-year-old Sahana gave full credit to her coach N. Evgeny of Ukraine. She added that she had been confident of achieving the mark but was frustrated at the long delay in starting the event.
Twentyfour-year-old Dharambir of Haryana and Satti Geeta of Andhra Pradesh emerged as the fastest man and woman respectively but with many top level athletes missing from the fray here, the first day’s proceedings were expectedly lacklustre.
There was a lot of expectation in the Andhra Pradesh camp that both the sprints would fetch gold medals for the host but Dharambir’s fine running saw the home favourite Mohd Abdul Najeeb Quereshi edged out to second place.
Dharambir, who held on to a slender lead which he gained from the half way point, finally won in a modest time of 10.51 seconds. This was considerably outside the meet record of 10.36s and National record of 10.30s both held by Anil Kumar. This was Dharambir's first victory in a major meet.
Quereshi who had equalled the National record two years earlier had a poor day. His start was a trifle slow and it enabled the unheralded Dharambir to get the upper hand.
Olympian Satti Geeta kept the home crowd in good humour by winning the women’s 100 metres. She was out of the blocks in a flash and charged into an early lead which she maintained all the way to the finish.
She too timed a modest 12.0s. The meet record as well as the National record is held by Rachita Mistry at 11.48 and 11.38 seconds respectively.
Twentynine-year-old Geeta started her career basically as a 200 and 400 metres runner when she was a junior. But for the last two years she has been focussing on the 100 metres and her efforts fetched her success on Saturday.
What gave Geeta the edge was the poor form of defending champion Anchu M.M. of Kerala who took the silver while the bronze went to Ruma Sarkar of West Bengal.
By and large, the first day’s proceedings were mostly mediocre.
The women’s 5,000 metres saw Sahanara Khatun of West Bengal put in a fast finish to get the better of Athre Monika of Maharashta and Archana Pal of UP.
The three of them ran in a tight bunch throughout the race. Sahanara stayed in second place behind Monika for the most but with 300 metres to go, she took the lead and charged ahead.
Monika too put up a good run but could not match Sahanara who eventually won with a lead of about 20 metres. Monika in turn had a similar margin over the third placed Archana.
The men’s 5,000 metres was more keenly contested and the winner Indrajeet Patel of UP was given a tough fight by his nearest rivals Man Singh of Delhi and Nitender Singh of Uttarakhand.
In the last lap it was Indrajeet’s better finish which enabled him to finish a few metres ahead of Man Singh.
The men’s triple jump was won by Arpinder Singh of Punjab. He leapt a distance of 15.90 metres with his first jump and then fouled all five following attempts.
But that first effort was enough to fetch him the gold medal, such was the paucity of competition. Renjith Maheshwary of Kerala holds the meet record as well as the National record at 16.73 and 17.07 metres respectively.
The results: Men: 100m: 1. Dharambir (Har) 10.51s, 2. Mohd. Abdul Najeeb Quereshi (AP) 10.59s, 3. Krishan Kumar Rane (Mah) 10.60s.
5,000m: 1. Indrajeet Patel (UP) 14:21.44s, 2. Man Singh (Delhi) 14:24.95s, 3. Nitender Singh (Utr) 14:25.36s.
Triple jump: 1. Arpinder Singh (Pun) 15.90m, 2. Saurabh (UP) 15.79m, 3. Rajasekhar (TN) 15.69m.
Discus throw: 1. Dharam Raj (MP) 51.62s, 2. Sushil Kumar (UP) 50.61m. 3. Binoy C.G. (Kerala) 49.39m.
Women: 100m: 1. Satti Geeta (AP) 12.00s, 2. Anchu M.M. (Ker) 12.18s, 3. Ruma Sarkar (WB) 12.37s.
5,000m: 1. Sahanara Khatun (Bengal) 17:58.56s, 2. Athre Monika (Mah) 18:02.78s, 3. Archana Pal (UP) 18:09.51s.
Pole vault: V.S. Surekha (TN) 3.60mts, 2. S.V. Khyatti (Kar) 3.50mts, 3. R. Remya (Ker) 3.40mts.
High jump: 1. Sahana Kumari (Kar) 1.92m, 2. Mallika Mondal (WB) 1.79m, 3. Siji NK (Ker) 1.76m.
Keywords: inter-State senior athletic championship