Indian athletes impressed by bagging 11 medals, including four gold, in the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix Series, in Bangkok on Saturday.
M.R. Poovamma (women’s 400m), Sahana Kumari (women’s high jump), Jithin Thomas (men’s high jump) and Nitin Rawat (men’s 5,000m) won a gold each while Siddhanth Thingalaya (men’s 110m hurdles), Rajiv Arokai (men’s 400m), Kheta Ram (men’s 5,000m) and Renjith Maheshwary (men’s triple jump) won a silver apiece. Anu Mariam Jose (women’s 400m), Arpinder Singh (men’s triple jump) and Mukesh Kumari (women’s javelin) won a bronze each.
Maheshwary misses qualification
However, it was disappointment for Maheshwary as he missed the World Championships qualification standard by just two centimetres.
Ace woman discus thrower Krishna Poonia, however, finished a disappointing fourth with a below-par performance, while Om Prakash Karhana also came a cropper with a sixth-place finish in men’s shot put.
Poovamma gave India the first gold of the day by clocking 52.97 seconds in the women’s 400m, a shade below her effort of 52.75s which had fetched her gold at the Federation Cup at Patiala last month. She had also won gold in the same event in two of the three-legs of the Asian Grand Prix Series last year.
Anu won the bronze in 53.95s while Subashini Rasnayake of Sri Lanka won the silver in 53.35s.
Sahana Kumari gave India its second gold in women’s high jump by clearing 1.86m. Nadiya Dusanova of Uzbekistan was second in 1.86m and Wanida Boonwan of Thailand was third with 1.83m. Sahana holds the national record of 1.92m.
It was a 1-2 finish for India in men’s high jump with Jithin Thomas clearing 2.18m while Nikhil Chitarasu too came up with a jump of 2.18m but was adjudged second as he cleared the height in more attempts than his compatriot. Sun Zhao of China was third in 2.14m.
Nitin Rawat, who took part in the first leg on invitation from the organisers, fetched the fourth gold for India as he clocked 14:35.03s to win the men’s 5,000m. Kheta Ram bagged the silver in 14:55.12s while Sri Lanka’s D.L. Samarajeewa won the bronze in 15:10.91s.
But the highlight of the first leg was Kazakhstan’s Roman Valiyev’s effort of 17.10m, which ended Maheshwary’s hopes. Maheshwary finished with 16.83m. The third place went to another Indian Arpinder Singh (16.74m).
Meanwhile, the Chinese ruled the women’s discus event as they won all the medals on offer, while Poonia finished with a below par 56.31m.
Jiang Fengjing won the gold in 58.11m while Su Xinyue (57.43m) and Liang Yan (56.74m) won the silver and bronze respectively.
Karhana finished a disappointing sixth with an effort of 17.68m in the men’s section. Jasdeep Singh finished seventh in the same event with an effort of 17.50m. Olympian Karhana holds the national record in men’s shot put with 20.69m.
Wang Li Ke of China won the gold in the event with a heave of 18.91m while another Chinese Guo Yan Xiang cleared 18.64m for the silver and Kamulya Grigority of Uzbekistan took third place in 18.62m.
Keywords: Asian Grand Prix Series