Services regained the men’s title after a gap of eight years, pipping traditional rival Railways, as the 52nd National Open athletics championship wound to a close at the Nehru Stadium here on Thursday.
Railways, however, clinched the overall championship with 327 points, while Services finished second with 138.
Dharambir Singh won the 200m gold comfortably with a personal best effort of 21.00 seconds. His earlier best came in the 2010 Commonwealth Games quarterfinal when he came home in 21.20s. “It [the 200m race] was very easy. There was hardly any competition,” said Dharambir.
It was a rare 1-2-3 for host Tamil Nadu in men’s 110m hurdles as A. Suresh, J. Surendhar and K. Prem Kumar finished on the podium.
“I hope I get a decent job at least now as I have proved myself with back-to-back victories in the National inter-State meet in Hyderabad and the Chennai Nationals,” said Suresh.
K. Prem Kumar clinched the top spot in men’s long jump with an effort of 7.72m. Incidentally, this is Prem’s first gold in a senior National.
Tamil Nadu’s star was, undoubtedly, L. Suriya. The 22-year-old from Pudukottai completed a distance double, adding the 5000m crown to the 10,000m title she won earlier.
The meet was diluted by the absence of London Olympians like Krishna Poonia, Seema Antil, Mayookha Johny, Sudha Singh, Gurmeet Singh and K.T. Irfan.
Speaking to The Hindu, C.K. Valson, Secretary, Athletics Federation of India, said a penalty or a fine would henceforth be levied on athletes who give their entries but fail to turn up. “This will be decided in the forthcoming AFI Executive Committee,” he said.
Valson further said that the Nehru Stadium was likely to be closed by October-November in order to relay the track for the prestigious senior Asian athletics championship scheduled to be held in July 2013.
The results: Men: 110m hurdles: 1. A. Suresh (TN) 14.21s; J. Surendhar (TN) 14.35; 3. K. Prem Kumar (TN) 14.59. 200m: 1. Dharambir Singh (LIC) 21.00s; 2. Manikanda Arumugam (RSPB) 21.80; 3. M. Manikandan (RSPB) 22.06. 800m: 1. Sajesh Joseph (RSPB) 1:51.93; 2. Ghamada Ram (ONGC) 1:52.04; 3. Jinson Johnson (SSCB) 1:52.40. 4x100m: 1. RSPB (M. Manikandan, Manikanda Arumugam, Muthuswamy, B.G. Nagraj) 41.36s; 2. SSCB (Yesu Raj, D. Jyoti Shankar, N.A. Shameer Mon, S. Krishan Kumar) 41.53; 3. Punjab (Amavir Singh, Manpreet Singh, Karandeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar) 41.92. 4x400m: 1. SSCB (S.K. Mortaja, Vikas Chandran, Kunhu Muhammed, Arokia Rajiv) 3:09.88; 2. RSPB (Avin A. Thomas, Shreejith, Neeraj Pawar, Bibin Mathew) 3:12.47. 5000m: 1. Rahul Kumar Pal (SSCB) 14:14.64s; 2. Indra Jeet Patel (ONGC) 14:15.72; 3. Nitinder Singh (SSCB) 14:16.71. Long jump: 1. K. Prem Kumar (TN) 7.72m; 2. Ankit Sharma (LIC) 7.60; 3. M. Arshad (SSCB) 7.59.
Women: 100m hurdles: 1. M.M. Anchu (RSPB) 14.40s; 2. C.T. Raji (Pun) 14.58; 3. Meghna Shetty (ONGC) 14.64. 200m: Bebi Sumaya (Kar) 24.91s; 2. V. Shanthini (LIC) 24.94; 3. Asha Roy (RSPB) 24.96. 800m: 1. Tintu Luka (RSPB) 2:04.69; 2. S.R. Bindu (RSPB) 2:10.40; 3. Fulan Khatun (WB) 2:15.80. 4x100m: 1. RSPB (Asha Roy, N. Sharada, K.P. Priya, Manisha) 46.74s; 2. LIC (Shilpa Chamblon, T. Renuka, Neethu Mathew, J. Hemasree) 47.37; 3. Kerala (K. Manju, Sini Alex, Rintu Mathew, S. Sini) 47.84. 4x400m: 1. AIPSCB (Saraswati Chand, Papathi, Bhupinder Kaur, Rattandeep Kaur) 3:45.00; 2. RSPB (K.A. Sonia, Manisha Devi, Vijaya Lakshmi, Tintu Luka) 3:47.06; 3. ONGC (Anju Rani, Jyoti Rani, G. Mounika, M.R. Poovamma) 3:47.48. 5000m: 1. L. Suriya (RSPB) 17:29.94s; 2. O.P. Jaisha (RSPB) 17:31.13; 3. Monika Motiram (LIC) 17:32.87. Javelin: 1. Davinder Singh (SSCB) 75.09m; 2. Jitender Singh (LIC) 74.57; 3. Samarjeet Singh (ONGC) 72.85.
Men’s championship: 1. SSCB 138; 2. RSPB 119; 3. ONGC 72.
Women’s championship: 1. Railways 208; 2. ONGC (42); 3. Kerala 40.
Overall championship: 1. RSPB 327 points; 2. SSCB 138; 3. ONGC 114.
Best athletes: Men: Jithin Thomas (SSCB); Women: Tintu Luka (RSPB).