Gold for Neelam, silver for Seema

KOCHI, JULY 6. Continuing her good form this season, Punjab's Neelam Jaswant Singh won the women's discus throw gold in the MAL Cup IAAF International Permit athletic meet in Budapest, Hungary early this week.

With the world junior champion Seema Antil taking the silver, it was a merry one-two for India in the event. India also won a bronze, through West Bengal's Sanjay Rai in the men's long jump, according to information reaching here.

Neelam, unbeaten in the domestic circuit this season, threw the disc to 58.16 metres, while Seema Antil had a best of 57.91. Apart from India and host Hungary, athletes from Russia, Ireland, Norway and Wales figured in the meet.

The Indian athletes are on a training-cum-competition tour of Europe and the Hungarian meet was one of the first meets on the tour.

There were notable performances in the men's 100 m too. Tamil Nadu's C.Thirugnanadurai, who won two of the four meets in the national circuit this season, finished fourth with 10.40 secs, his best time this season.

And Delhi's Sandeep Sarkaria, the Federation Cup champion in Bangalore last month, clocked a faster timing (10.39 secs), but was unfortunately third in his heats and failed to qualify for the final. The 22-year-old Sarkaria has improved by leaps and bounds this season and his timing in Budapest is his personal best.

Tamil Nadu's Anju Bobby George, the national record- holder (6.74 m) in the women's long jump, had a bad time, messing up five of her six jumps. Anju could finish only sixth, with 5.96 m. Karnataka's G.G.Pramila did better in the event, her 6.17 m fetching her the fifth spot. Hungary's Tunde Vaszi won the gold with 6.76 m.

``Very strong crosswinds and a bit of overconfidence did Anju in,'' said Bobby George, her husband and coach.

In the men's shot-put, Federation Cup champion Jaiveer Singh (Army, 17.40 m) and Navpreet Singh (Punjab, 16.85 m) were fourth and fifth respectively while Hridayanand Singh (UP, 52.19) was seventh in the men's discus. Madhuri A.Singh (PSEB, 4:26.58) was sixth in the women's 1,500 m.

Satbir Singh (400 m, 49.53 s), Lijo David (400 m, 50.03), P.S.Primesh (800 m, 1:54.88), Jincy Philip (women's 400, 55.72) and Soma Biswas (women's 400, 56.72) failed to qualify for the finals in their respective events.

- Our Sports Reporter