It has been a golden run for Tamil Nadu’s R. Elavarasi this season and the 25-year-old 400m hurdler won her third gold medal in the most demanding track event.
At the 53rd Open National athletics meet here on Saturday, she took the top spot, though her time of 1:00.80s was not the best of the season, to add to the Federation Cup and inter-State medals she won earlier this year.
In the 400m hurdles for men, all the podium finishers came up with their season’s best.
Services’ Durgesh Kumar Pal, trailing well behind Jithin Paul and favourite Joseph Abraham, both of Railways, produced the final kick to overtake the two and clinch the gold in a time of 50.89s. Paul was second at 51.14 and Abraham clocked 51.31, all season’s best.
“This is my first senior level gold,” said the 20-year-old Durgesh, who has a silver medal from the Youth Olympic Games.
Suriya’s personal best
Distance runner L. Suriya successfully defended the women’s 5,000m crown with a personal best of 16:24.58s.
In the process, she pushed her more illustrious Railway teammate and National record holder Preeja Sreedharan to silver. Kavita Rout, another quality runner, had to settle for bronze.
G. Lakshmanan of Services, like Suriya who hails from Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu, produced a late surge to extend his winning streak.
Lakshmanan won the men’s 5000m in a time of 13:58.53s. Suresh Kumar and Inderjit Patel finished second and third.
Event-favourite Nitender Singh Rawat, against whose name rests the season’s best time, finished fourth.
The Association of Indian Universities, missing the Indian athletics scenario for nearly one-and-a-half decades, made a return here.
The results: Men: 5,000m: 1. G. Lakshmanan (Ser) 13:58.53s, 2. Suresh Kumar (ONGC) 14:01.60, 3. Inderjit Patel (ONGC) 14:19.70.
400m hurdles: 1. Durgesh Kumar Pal (Ser) 50.89s, 2. Jithin Paul (Rly) 51.14, 3. Joseph Abraham (Rly) 51.31.
Pole vault: 1. K.P. Bimin (Rly) 5.00m, 2. Balakrishna (Rly) 4.80, 3. Kundan (Har) 4.70.
Women: 5,000m: 1. L. Suriya (Rly) 16:24.58s, 2. Preeja Sreedharan (Rly) 16:27.70, 3. Kavita Raut (ONGC) 16:33.50.
400m hurdles: 1. R. Elavarasi (TN) 1:00.80s, 2. Anju Rani (ONGC) 1:01.55, 3. A. Papathi (Pol) 1:01.88.
Long jump: 1. M.A. Prajusha (Rly) 6.25m, 2. V. Neena (Rly) 6.20, 3. Bhumika Thakur (Pun) 5.95.
Shot put: 1. Manpreet Kaur (Rly) 15.03m, 2. Neha Singh (Pol) 13.62, 3. U. Vasumathi (LIC) 13.12.
Hammer: 1. Poonam Devi (Har) 54.14m, 2. Sonam (LIC) 53.47, 3. Manju Bala (Rly) 53.40.