India’s long distance runner Preeja gets Olympic B norm

June 15th, 2008 - 7:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi , June 15 (IANS) India’s long distance runner Preeja Sreedharan attained the ‘B’ qualifying norm for the Bejing Olympics after she finished second behind local girl Jo Pavey in the 10, 000 metres event of the British Milers Club Grand Prix in London. According to information received here, Preeja finished second behind local Jo Pavey on Saturday with a new national record timing of 32:04.41 seconds in the race Saturday. It was an improvement by Preeja by more than a minute from her previous record of 33:19.71sec set in Kolkata last year.

The Indian clocked 32:04.41 sec, a national record and bettered her previous record of 33:19.71 sec set in Kolkata last year.

Till now none from India had qualified for this event, and if no other athlete gets the ‘A’ norm in the qualifying events till July 23, then Preeja will represent the country at the Olympics.

In the men’s 10,000 metres event, India’s Surendra Singh failed to qualify for the Beijing Games though he broke the long standing 32-year national record set by Hari Chand in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, with a timing of 28:22.79 sec.

Surendra also improved his personal best by more than 30 seconds. The 30-year-old Indian army man failed to bag any Olympic qualifying mark but it does not rule out the credit to him for the best run by any Indian in the history of Indian athletics. His team mate Sandip Kumar finished fourth with a personal best of 29:17.97 sec.

Rajeev Ramesan clocked his personal best with a timing of 1:47.20 sec to win overall 800m run while Sajeesh Joseph grabbed second place in 1:47.67sec.

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