Qureshi completes a sprint double; Tintu bags her second gold
KOCHI: Kavita Raut (Maharashtra) set a new meet record in the women's 10,000m event on the fourth and final day of the 50th National Open athletic meet at the Maharaja's stadium here on Tuesday. The day also saw the completion of a ‘golden double' by Mohammed Abdul Najeeb Qureshi (Andhra Pradesh) and Tintu Luka (Kerala).
Kerala's P. Kunhumuhammed sprung a surprise in the men's 400m, winning the gold ahead of a pack which boasted most of the best runners over the distance in the country.
Railways, expectedly, took the overall title with a tally of 18 gold, 14 silver and 18 bronze medals, ahead of Kerala which finished far behind at 5-6-2.
The 25-lap race, held in the morning, was gone through in friendly conditions as the overnight rain and subsequent cool weather did provide great relief to the runners.
Though there were eight starters, the competition boiled down to just Kavita Raut and Preeja Sreedhara, who took turns in taking over the lead towards the end of each lap. As the race progressed, Kavita left Preeja behind towards the close to take the gold at 32:41.31, bettering her immediate rival's 2007 meet record of 33:25.00. Preeja, who finished at 32:41.72, also went under the existing record. Lalita Babar, winner of the 5000m gold, came in a distant third at 35:13.76.
Qureshi, the winner of the men's 100m on Saturday, was a facile winner of the men's 200m gold, hardly challenged by any of his rivals. The 22-year-old from Hyderabad also touched a new personal best as he timed 21.06s.
Kunhumuhammed, a native of Palakkad district, defied all calculations in the men's 400m as he sprinted to glory, and his first gold medal at the National-level. The former all-India inter-university winner ran a classy race as he kept pace with the rest until the second bend and then left them all behind while entering the home stretch.
S.K. Mortuja, J. Prem Anand and V.B. Bineesh, who finished in that order behind Kunhumuhammed, did try their best to catch up towards the finish but in vain. The 22-year-old winner was clocked at a personal best of 47.14s, while Mortuja and Prem Anand came in at 47.25s and 47.70s respectively.
In firm control
Tintu, once again, faced little challenge from the rest of the field in the women's 400m as she went about her business in style. She was always in firm control after having taken the lead by the end of the first 150m, only failing to deliver the expected burst of speed at the finish.
Yet, the 20-year-old was clocked at 53.96s, as she finished streets ahead of Ratandeep Kaur (Punjab) and R. Elavarasi (Tamil Nadu).
Later, Tintu was also adjudged the ‘Best Athlete' in her section, while the corresponding honour in the men's section was picked up by triple jumper Renjith Maheswary.
Reshmi Bose won her second gold of the season by winning the long jump gold from a field which also included Mayookha Johny, who was returning to competition after a gap of a little over one year. Reshmi collared the gold with an effort of 6.15m, while Johny, who was threatened with an early exit after two consecutive fouls at the start of the competition, came in second at 6.13m.
The results (all finals): Men: 200m: 1. Mohammed Abdul Najeeb Qureshi (AP) 21.06s, 2. Ritesh Anand (Rly) 21.73s, 3. Manikandaraj (Guj) 21.75s. 400m: 1. P. Kunhumuhammed (Ker) 47.14s, 2. S.K. Mortuja (Ser) 47.25s, 3. J. Prem Anand (TN) 47.70s. 1,500m: 1. Sandeep (Ser) 3:46.84, 2. Sunil Kumar (Pol) 3:47.20, 3. Satnam Singh (Rly) 3:47.81. 10,000m: 1. S. Raghunath (Pol), 30:03.08, 2. Ajay Kumar Patel (Pol) 30:07.60, 3. Ajay Veer Singh (Rly) 30:33.38. Hammer: 1. Chandrodaya Narayan Singh (UP) 63.00m, 2. Harvinder Singh Dagar (UP) 62.38m, 3. Joginder Singh (Rly) 61.75m.
Women: 200m: 1. H.M. Jyoti (Kar) 23.86s, 2. S. Geetha (Rly) 24.33s, 3. Ch. Shanti (AP) 24.87s. 400m: 1. Tintu Luka (Ker) 53.96s, 2. Ratandeep Kaur (Pun) 55.45s, 3. R. Elavarasi (TN) 55.54s. 1,500m: 1. Sushma Devi (Rly) 4:18.92, 2. S.R. Bindu (Rly) 4:33.63, 3. Wahida Rahman (Pol) 4:42.81. 10,000m: 1. Kavita Raut (Mah) 32:41:31 [ New Meet Record; Old Record: 33:25.00, Preeja Sreedharan, 2007], 2. Preeja Sreedharan (Rly) 32:41.72, 3. Lalita Babar (Rly) 35:13.76. Long jump: 1. Reshmi Bose (Rly) 6.15m, 2. Mayookha Johny (Ker) 6.13m, 3. Shalu Choudhary (Del) 5.88m. Heptathlon: 1. G.R. Parmila (Rly) 5238 points, 2. Navpreet Kaur (Pun) 4881, 3. K.D. Sindhu (Ker) 4858 .