Chennai: S. Thabaton Chanu bagged the first gold of the 35th National Group III Sports Festival for Women, which began here on Wednesday. The Delhi girl finished the 1500m final 4.6 seconds ahead of Punjab’s Manpreet Kaur.

Earlier, K.S. Sripathi, Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, declared the meet open after a parade of athletes from the 24 competing states.

Tamil Nadu 100m hurdler Hema Sree, who represented India at the Asian Junior Athletic Championships in Jakarta in 2007, lit the flame. The meet, which features athletics, hockey, tennis and badminton, concludes on Saturday.

The results: 1500m: 1. S. Thabaton Chanu (Del) 4:31.3s, 2. Manpreet Kaur (Pun) 4:35.9s, 3. Sahanara Khadun (WB) 4:41.6s.

Hockey (league): Tamil Nadu 4 bt West Bengal 1, Jharkhand 7 bt Rajasthan 2.

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