India win three golds in South Asian athletics

March 7th, 2008 - 10:50 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Kochi, March 7 (IANS) Indians won three of the first six finals in the South Asian Athletics championships but Pakistan also made their presence felt with two gold medals while Sri Lanka picked up one at the Maharaja College Ground Friday. The winners for India were Krishna Mohan in men’s 110m hurdles, where he clocked 14,28s while Satyender Kumar Singh claimed the shot put gold with a throw of 17,71m for a new meet record. Anuradha Biswal won the women’s 100m hurdles clocking 14.10s.

Pakistan’s winners were Ghulam Shabbir Hussain, who claimed the meet’s first gold in the morning in hammer throw with an effort of 59.16m. Favourite Madhu Kumar of India was second and his teammate Jitender Singh took the bronze.

The other success for Pakistan came from Zafar Iqbal, who won the triple jump with a effort of 16.42m for a new meet record. Indians Amarjeet Singh (16.39m) and B Mathew (16.12m) took the second and third spots.

Sri Lanka won the women’s javelin, when B.L.Nadeeka Lakmali threw the spear to 51.79m. Suman Devi of India (43.09m) was a distant second and Gurpeet Kaur was third with 42.81m.

In men’s shot put, Satyender was followed by Ashraf Ali of Pakistan with a throw of 17.22m with Om Prakash of India also having a best of 17.22m, but he lost the silver on second best throw.

In women’s 100m hurdles Biswal was followed by teammate Poonam Bojanna (14.51s) and Sri Lanka’s B.G.L.Madhuwanthi (14.67s).

Pakistan’s Hussain clinched the first gold medal. Hussain’s effort of 59.16m pushed India’s Madhu Kumar to the second place. Despite winning the gold, Hussain was unable to match his personal best 62.10m achieved eight years ago.

India’s Madhu hurled the chained ball to 56.26m for the silver, while his teammate Jitender Singh got the bronze in 55.61m. Madhu started the event favourite with a personal best of 64.66m.

The Pakistan contingent reached Kochi late last night and the athletes did not get much rest, making Shabbir’s effort all the more creditable. His best came in his first last attempt, even though the day’s top four throws came from him.

India’s V B Bineesh, Virender Kumar Pankaj and P Shankar qualified for the 400m finals, while in the women’s section, Mandeep Kaur, Chitra K Soman and S Geetha booked their berths in the finals.

In the women’s 400m heats, Asian champion Chitra K Soman expectedly finished on top among five contestants, timing 54.85 seconds.

In the morning, a colorful march past by athletes was followed by releasing of balloons and bursting of crackers to mark the opening of the first South Asian Athletics Championship.

The march past was led by Bangladesh, followed by Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and finally the hosts India. Afghanistan, who were scheduled to take part did not arrive.

Middle Distance Runner Mandeep Kaur led the Indian contingent.

The lamp for the Championship was lit by former Asian Games gold medallist Shiny Wilson. The torch was carried by some of Kerala’s famnous athletes like Padmini Thomas, Mercy Kuttan and K M Beenamol.

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