The curtain comes down on the 55th Indian National Open Athletics Championships in Kolkata. New records were set, a few tears shed, but all in all, the East Stadium stood witness to some high class performances. The expectations for Rio have increased manifold. Sports Rediscovered brings to you a short report on how things went down during this year’s meet.
Records Tumble on Final Days:
Mayookha Johny set a new meet record in women’s triple jump, covering 13.78 metres to better her own mark of 13.71 metres (set during the 2011 meet). MA Prajusha took silver for Railways (12.79 metres), while Shilpa Chacko came in third (12.79 metres).
New records were also set in the women’s Javelin throw event. It was a bittersweet victory for Railways’ Annu Rani, who couldn’t breach the Rio mark (62 metres). Rani did, however, set a new meet record with a throw of 58.85 metres. Suman Devi broke Rani’s previous meet record of 54.35 metres, with a throw of 57.15 metres. Bronze went to Poonam Rani (52.73 metres).
In the 4×400 metres relay event, the quartet of V Sajin, M Anas, Arokya Rajeev and Sumit Kumar, bagged gold for Services, setting up a new meet record enroute (3:06.63). Manipur and Railways took second and third place in the event.
PT Usha’s protege Tintu Luka shattered an 18 year old meet record to take gold in the 800 metres event. Luka, clocked 2:00.56 seconds to better Rosa Kutty’s mark of 2:01.56, set in 1997. M Gomathi won silver (2:06.29) and Sipra Sarkar took bronze (2:06.42).
The men’s 200 metres event saw Manikanda Arumugam stopped the clocks at 21.35 to finish ahead of Vidya Sagar (21.36). In the corresponding women’s event, Dutee Chand took her second gold of the championships (National Open Athletics Report: Part 1), beating team mates Srabani Nanda (23.75) and Asha Roy (24.71).
In women’s 10000 metres, Railways’ L Surya cliched gold, clocking 33:44.84, while team mate Swati Gadhawe took silver (34:33.11).Sanjeevni Jadhav came in third (34:57.46). In the men’s event, Gopi T took gold (30:07.70) while fellow Railways’ sprinter Kheta Ram took silver (30:10.43). Suresh Kumar bagged bronze for ONGC (30:17.19).
Railways topped the medal’s table with 267 points. ONGC took second position with 185 points, and Services came in third with 174.5 points. Services’ Arokya Rajeev and Railways’ Lalita Babar were adjudged Best Athletes of the championships for their performance in the 400 metres and 3000m steeplechase events respectively.