It was a double delight for L.Suriya for the second successive year at the national open athletics championship.

The Pudukottai girl defended her 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres crowns in the recently-concluded championship at Ranchi. She not only clocked personal best in both the events – 5,000 metres (16 minutes, 24.58 seconds) and 10,000 metres (34 minutes, 07.45 seconds) – but also defeated seasoned athletes Preeja Sreedharan and Kavita Raut. “I am thrilled to have retained the gold medals. It is a fantastic feeling,” said Suriya, an employee of Southern Railway, Tiruchi division.

Another Pudukottai athlete who won gold at the meet was G.Lakshmanan. He clinched the 5,000 metres title, his second gold in a national meet in three months. He won the 5,000 metres event in the national inter-State athletics championship held at Chennai in June. “My timing in Ranchi was better than Chennai. ,” he said. The duo, members of Kavinadu Youth Sports Club in Pudukottai, also represented India in the Asian Athletics Championship held in Pune in July.

“I’m happy that athletes from Pudukottai are doing well in the national arena. ,” said S.Loganathan, Suriya’s father, and first coach of the athletes. P.V.R.Sekaran, president, Kavinadu Youth Sports Club, and S.Vanchinathan, district sports officer, commended the efforts of the young athletes.

The Pudukottai girl defended her 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres crowns in the recently-concluded championship at Ranchi

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