Sushma Devi of Sonepat stole the thunder as she beat Olympic semifinalist Tintu Luka in the 800 metres, and Ravinder Singh in men’s javelin and Sahana Kumari in women’s high jump went past the qualification mark for the Commonwealth Games in the 54th National inter-State athletics championship at the PAC Stadium here on Friday.
An elated Sushma, who not only pipped Tintu but also Sini Markose after the two had kept the lead for more than 200 metres, said that she had followed the advice of coach Nikolai Snesarev, to go all out in the last 50 metres.
Though the Railway employee was pleased to clock her career-best time of 2 minutes 02.05 seconds, Sushma was short of the qualifying standard of 2:00.46, set by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for the Commonwealth Games. It was a mark close to the meet record of 2:00.49 set by Rosa Kutty in 1997, while Tintu herself has the national record of 1:59.17.
In men’s javelin, Ravinder Singh of Punjab threw a distance of 78.02 metres on his fifth attempt, to go past the qualification standard of 77.29. Another Punjab lad, Devinder Singh had a much better build-up as he threw 74.44 on the first attempt and reached 76 plus on the last two throws. Vipin Kasana also started well with a throw of 75.57 but fouled four times after a 64.62 on the second attempt.
National record-holder Sahana Kumari attempted to equal her record of 1.92 metres, after touching 1.89 metres, but failed. She met the qualifying mark of 1.88 metres, but pointed out that the standard for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was lower than the mark stipulated by AFI.
In men’s long jump, the 22-year-old Vigneshwar of Tamil Nadu reached 7.90 metres in winning the gold, but fell short of the meet record and qualifying mark by 10 centimetres. Defending champion and national record holder Kumaravel Premkumar had failed to qualify for the final, following his only good jump of 7.0 metres.
Dutee Chand, set to spearhead the Indian challenge in the Asian junior championship, won the women’s 200 metres with a time of 23.72 seconds, and fell short of qualification by two tenths of a second.
In men’s 200 metres, Manikanta Raj pipped Vikas Gulia and Manikanda Arumugam in a close finish, but missed qualification by 0.78 seconds.
Returning to competition after serving a suspension, A.C. Ashwini won the women’s 400 metre hurdles on expected lines, with a new meet record of 57.42 seconds that erased the previous mark set by another suspended athlete Jauna Murmu in 2010. The qualification mark of 56.31 proved elusive for Ashwini.
Men: 200m: 1. Manikanta Raj 21.30; 2. Vikas Gulia 21.31; 3. Manikanda Arumugam 21.35.
800m: 1. Sajeesh Joseph 1:53.11; 2. Jinson Johnson 1:53.29; 3. Lalit Mathur 1:53.54.
400m hurdles: 1. Jitin Pal 50.41; 2. Ramachandran 50.90 3. Joseph Abraham 51.10.
Long jump: 1. Vigneshvar 7.90; 2. Ankit Sharma 7.66; 3. Raja Oommen 7.54.
Shot put: 1. Jagroop Singh 17.75; 2. Naveen 17.25; 3. Sunil Kumar 16.98.
Javelin: 1. Ravinder Singh 78.02; 2. Devinder Singh 76.60; 3. Vipin Kasana 75.57.
Decathlon: 1. Dayaram 7117; 2. Thangarasu 6426; 3. Vikas 6240.
Women: 200m: 1. Dutee Chand 23.72; 2. Asha Roy 23.75; 3. Srabani Nanda 23.82.
800m: 1. Sushma devi 2:02.05; 2. Tintu Luka 2:02.85; 3. Sini Markose 2:03.47.
400m hurdles: 1. A. C. Ashwini 57.43 (NMR, old 57.46); 2. Elavarasi 58.99; 3. R. Anu 59.49.
High jump: 1. Sahana Kumari 1.89; 2. Mallika Mondal 1.73; 3. Sonu 1.60.