India riding high on the golden double completed by P. Mohammed Afsal and P.U. Chitra enjoyed yet another field day at the inaugural Asian school athletics meet at Pahang, Malaysia, on Saturday.
Hailing from schools in neighbouring panchayats in Palakkad, Afsal and Chitra were the toast of the Indian contingent at the four-day event.
Afsal, a student of Parli HS, won his second gold of the meet leading India to a 1-2 finish in the boys’ 1500m. The winner of the 800m title on Friday, Afsal was clocked at 3:58.34 ahead of Rahul Singh who won the silver at 3:59.84.
Chitra, the gold medallist in the girls’ 3000m and a student of HS Mundur, added the 1500m title, an event which saw the country winning the silver medal as well. The Kerala girl, belonging to a family of farm labourers, clocked 4:39.11 well clear of teammate Sanjivani Jadhav who took silver in 4:44.11.
Besides Afsal and Chitra, India won a third gold through T.S. Arya, another athlete from Kerala, who easily won the girls’ 100m hurdles in 14.86s. Ankita Gosavi came in third at 15.01s.
Maria Jaison also did her country proud as she took silver in the girls’ pole vault clearing a height of 3.10m while Sapna Barman took bronze in the hammer throw, though with a comparatively unimpressive performance of 16.60m.
In the boys’ section, Bikramjit Singh also stood out with his silver medal effort of 7.14m in the long jump final.
At the end of day three, India was placed third in the overall medals tally behind Malaysia (9-11-8) and Thailand (9-3-1) with a haul of 8 gold, 9 silver and 6 bronze medals.