Asian Athletics: Chitra retains 1500m gold, Ajay takes silver

Ajay Kumar Saroj celebrates his 1500m silver.

Ajay Kumar Saroj celebrates his 1500m silver.   | Photo Credit: IBRAHEEM AL OMARI


Dutee bags 200m bronze; Sanjivani finishes third in women’s 10,000m; women’s 4x400m relay runs to silver

The Bahrainians tried to waylay her, tried to lock her in. But P.U. Chitra smartly stayed away from these traps and went on to retain her women’s 1500m gold in the Asian Athletics Championships at the Khalifa Stadium here on Wednesday evening.

Chitra was the defending champion in the event but with runners like Bahrain’s former under-18 World champion Gashaw Tigest in the fray, one thought that life would be tough for the 23-year-old from Palakkad.

But Chitra brilliantly overtook Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi, who had already won two golds here earlier, on the last curve and then beat a tiring Gashaw on the home stretch to take the gold in 4:14.56s and book her World Championships berth. Gashaw, whose personal best was nearly six seconds faster than Chitra’s, took the silver in 4:14.81.

Dutee Chand.

Dutee Chand.   | Photo Credit: Vincent Thian


“Got a bit nervous towards the end as I was next to Bahraini runner (Gashaw Tigest). She beat me to third place in the Asian Games. I had to really push hard in the end,” said Chitra.

Photo finish

Ajay Kumar Saroj, probably inspired by Chitra, almost tried out a similar strategy in the men’s 1500m and was rewarded with a silver in a photo finish. Abraham Rotich won the gold with a time of 3:42.85s while defending champion Ajay Kumar and Qatar’s Musaab Ali were credited with a similar time (3:43.18s) but the Indian was slight ahead at the finish. The Bahrain athletes had stayed away from the last Asians in Bhubaneswar in 2017.

Meanwhile Dutee Chand shocked Bahrain’s Asian Games gold medallist Edidiong Odiong but there were bigger names to handle, like Bahrain’s Nigeria-born World No. 1 quartermiler Salwa Naser and Kazakhstan’s former Asian Games gold medallist Olga Safronova, in the women’s 200m final.

In control: P.U. Chitra ran a fine tactical race to defend her 1500m crown.

In control: P.U. Chitra ran a fine tactical race to defend her 1500m crown.   | Photo Credit: IBRAHEEM AL OMARI


In the end, Dutee finished with a bronze to brush away all the disappointments in the 100m and the sprint relay earlier. Salwa took the gold in a championships’ record time of 22.74s while Dutee clocked 23.24.

A little later India, comprising Prachi, M.R. Poovamma, Saritaben Gayakwad and V.K. Vismaya, won the women’s 4x400m relay silver in a season-best 3:32.21s.

Bahrain, with Salwa Naser coming up with a fine anchor leg, overtook India with about 50m from the finish to take the gold in 3:32.10s.

There were no medals in women’s discus throw with Navjeet Dhillon (57.47m) and Kamalpreet Kaur (55.59) finishing fourth and fifth respectively. China’s Feng Bin’s second-round effort of 65.36m broke the championships record and brought her the gold.

Sanjivani gets bronze

The Indian 4x400m mixed relay team had to be content with the silver after losing precious moments with a clumsy baton exchange in the last leg on Tuesday night. The team of Muhammed Anas, M.R. Poovamma, V.K. Vismaya and Arokia Rajiv clocked 3:16.47s as it finished behind Bahrain which won the gold in 3:15.75s.

Sanjivani Jadhav.

Sanjivani Jadhav.  


Sanjivani Jadhav won the women’s 10,000 m bronze in a personal best time of 32:44.96 on Tuesday night.

The event was won by Bahrain’s Ethiopia-born Shitaye Habtegebriel in a championships’ record time of 31:15.62.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 5:51:39 PM |

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