ATHLETICS / Shobha qualifies for Bejing Olympics
MADURAI: On a day when K. Krishnamohan bettered the National record in the 110-metre hurdles, the spotlight was on a rousing battle for Olympic berths in the heptathlon as the 48th National inter-State athletics championships concluded at the MGR Stadium, here on Wednesday.
J.J. Shobha won the heptathlon duel; more importantly she clinched the Olympic qualification ‘A’ standard by reaching 6,043 points. Susmita Singha Roy fell short of the magical mark of 6,000 points by a mere 24 points despite running a life-best in the 800 metres.
As Susmita held back tears, exhausted and frustrated, there were pacifying words from all around. Equally, there were congratulatory pats for Shobha who posted two personal bests, in shot put (13.22) and javelin (46.90) in reaching the coveted ‘A’ grade.
Shobha’s mark meant Susmita, who already had the ‘B’ norm (5,866 at Bhopal), will need to go for the 6,000 points at the Combined events Nationals in Bangalore on July 16 and 17.
This was always expected to be a contest between Shobha and Susmita. But, coming out of nowhere, Pramila Aiyappa was the surprise leader on day one.
As the second day progressed, Pramila faded away, eventually giving up in the final event, the 800m where she graciously provided the pace to Susmita who needed 2:12 to get to 6,000, but ended up with 2:13-plus, a personal best.
Krishnamohan’s National record came rather unexpectedly. Running into headwind measuring 1m per second, the 26-year-old Havildar from Artillery, cruised through to the record that bettered Naunidh Singh’s mark of 14.05s set in Hyderabad in 2005.
“I was hoping to dip under 14 seconds,” said the man from Guntur. Perhaps he might have achieved that but for a gush of wind hitting him through the final stretch. It was a faultless performance.
Gold for Anju
Anju George reached 6.50m in women’s long jump. She had two jumps of 6.50, one of 6.48 and three fouls in her series.
“It was okay, but I felt some pain on my ankle in the second jump and then was worried at take-off,” said Anju. “Not happy, but not disappointed either. We were looking for 6.75,” said husband and coach, Bobby George.
Jharkhand won the men’s and overall team championships, while Kerala took the women’s team title. Amarjeet Singh (triple jump) and Mandeep Kaur (400m) were adjudged best athletes.
The results: Men: 400m: 1. K.M. Binu (Ker) 46.32, 2. Bipin Mathew (MP) 46.82, 3. S.K. Mortaza (Jharkhand) 47.02; 5000m: 1. Kashinath Aswale (Jharkhand) 13:54.24 (NMR, previous 13:55.71), 2. Ajai Kumar Patel (U.P.) 13:57.65, 3. Santosh Kumar Patel (Jharkhand) 14:18.61.
110m hurdles: 1. K. Krishnamohan (AP) 14.00 (National record, previous 14.05), 2. Sandeep Parmar (Mah) 14.58, 3. D. Prasad (AP) 14.82; Shot put: 1. Satyendra Kumar Singh (Jharkhand) 18.02, 2. P.V. Giri (MP) 17.73, 3. Mukesh Singh (Del) 17.30.
Discus: 1. Amrit Pal Singh (Jharkhand) 52.95, 2. Simranjit Singh (Pun) 51.49, 3. Karan Singh (Har) 49.97; 4x100m: 1. Kerala 41.30, 2. Andhra Pradesh 41.34, 3. Jharkhand 41.42; 4x400m: 1. Madhya Pradesh 3:12.67, 2. Kerala 3:13.35, 3. Tamil Nadu 3:16.37.
Women: 5000m: 1. Priti L. Rao (Jharkhand) 17:13.13, 2. M. Sudha (TN) 17:56.55, 3. Reshma Dalvi (Mah) 18:33.81; 100m hurdles: 1. Anuradha Biswal (Ori) 13.82, 2. Poonam Bojanna (Jharkhand) 14.28, 3. Shreema Priyadarshini (Kar) 14.60; High jump: 1. Sahana Kumari (Jharkhand) 1.85, 2. Mallika Mondal (Ben) 1.74, 3. Marian C. Tharian (Del) 1.74; Long jump: 1. Anju B. George (TN) 6.50, 2. Mayookha Johny (Ker) 6.18, 3. Prajusha M.A. (Ker) 5.97.
Heptathlon: 1. J.J. Shobha (AP) 6,043 pts, 2. Susmita Singha Roy (Ben) 5,975, 3. Pramila Aiyappa (Jharkhand) 4969; 4x100m: 1. Kerala 46.91, 2. Bengal 47.76, 3. Tamil Nadu 47.87.
4x400m: 1. Kerala 3:44.44, 2. Andhra Pradesh 3:52.58, 3. Tamil Nadu 4:03.59.