ATHLETICS / Kunhu Mohammad overcomes favourite Arokia Rajiv in 400m
Even as everybody was about to leave the Stadium late in the evening thinking that it was yet another uneventful day, a loud cheer was heard from one corner of the track. A small section of the crowd was seen cheering a young athlete, who in turn, was bowing his head to them.
It was K. Prem Kumar, the 20-year-old from Tamil Nadu, who created a new meet record in the men’s long jump with a leap of 8m on the second day of the National inter-State athletics meet at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.
Prem erased the record of 7.92m set by Sanjay Kumar Rai (West Bengal) in 2001. He is the fourth Indian to break the 8m barrier after Amrit Pal Singh (8.08m), T.C. Yohanan (8.07m) and Sanjay Kumar Rai (8.03m).
Gasping for breath, Prem later said, “I don’t know how to express my feelings. I came here with an intention of clearing 8m, and I did it.
“This is my best ever after the 7.95m I did in the State meet in Madurai a few months ago,” he added.
Prem Kumar was not impressive in the first five jumps. He started with 7.58m, then the next four read: 7.62m, 7.54m, 7.53m and 7.75m. The sixth and last jump made the crowd go gaga.
For others, it was not a great day at office especially high jump star Sahana Kumari. The 31-year-old from Karnataka had to be content with 1.88m for the first place. The National record holder (1.92m) was disappointed with her show.
“I am not happy. I still have one more chance to qualify for the World championship in the Asian championship in Pune,” she said.
Pinto Mathew of Kerala clinched the 110m hurdles gold in 14.56s pipping Tamil Nadu’s Balamurugan. Defending champion A. Suresh couldn’t take part in the final as he had injured his left ankle during practice.
Kunhu Mohammad of Kerala won the men’s 400m gold overcoming favourite Arokia Rajiv (Tamil Nadu) with a time of 46.71s. Arokia Rajiv started off well and maintained a decent lead till the turn, but Kunhu raced ahead in the last 50m.
Neeraj Pawar (Uttar Pradesh) came second while Arokia emerged third.
The 20km women’s walk couldn’t be held due to lack of entries. It will be held along with the men’s event on Thursday.
The results: Men: 110m H: 1. Pinto Mathew (Ker) 14.56s, 2. Balamurugan (TN) 14.76, 3. Sandeep Parmar (Mah) 14.82; 400m: 1. Kunhu Mohammad (Ker) 46.71s, 2. Neeraj Pawar (UP) 46.97, 3. Arokia Rajiv (TN) 47.08; 800m: 1. Sajeesh Joseph (Ker) 1:49.04, 2. Manjit Singh (Har) 1:49.11, 3. Francis Sagayaraj (TN) 1:49.77; Javelin: 1. Krishnan Kumar (UP) 74.80m, 2. Samarjeet Singh (Raj) 73.16, 3. Rajender Singh (Har) 72.96; Long jump: 1. K. Prem Kumar (TN) 8m (NMR) (OR: Sanjay Kumar Rai (7.92, 2001), 2. Arshad (Kar) 7.85, 3. Ankit Sharma (MP) 7.67; Shot put: 1. Inderjeet Singh (Har) 18.92m, 2. Ashwani Solanki (Del) 18.35, 3. Tejinder Pal Singh (Pun) 18.30; Decathlon: 1. Bharatinder (Har) 6963, 2. Daya Ram (Raj) 6925.
Women: 100m H: 1. G. Gayathri (TN) 13.97s, 2. J. Hemashree (TN) 14.04, 3. K.V. Sajitha (Ker) 14.33; 400m: 1. M.R. Poovamma (Kar) 52.85s, 2. Nirmala (Har) 53.94, 3. Anu Mariam Jose (Ker) 54.59; 800m: 1. Tintu Luka (Ker) 2:04.14, 2. Gomathi (TN) 2:07.33, 3. Sushma Devi (Har) 2:07.33; Shot put: 1. P. Udaya Lakshmi (AP) 13.68m, 2. Neha Singh (MP) 13.56, 3. Navjit Kaur (Pun) 13.49; High jump: 1. Sahana Kumari (Kar) 1.88m, 2. Mallika Mondal (WB) 1.74, 3. N.D. Tintu (Ker) 1.68.
Keywords: National inter-State athletics meet