Premkumar bags bronze on day one

India’s Kumaravel Premkumar won the bronze in men’s long jump on the first day of the fifth Asian Indoor Athletics Championships at Hang­zhou, China, on Saturday.

The 19-year-old leapt to 7.62 metres to finish just a centimetre behind Rikiya Saruyama of Japan. China’s Li Jinzhe won the gold with a jump of 7.98 metres.

Premkumar and Ling Qing of China registered the same distance but the Indian was adjudged third on a countback.

Premkumar’s mark bettered the Indian indoor record of 7.49 metres set by Maha Singh at the Asian Indoor Games at Pattaya, Thailand, seven years ago.

Other Indian athletes in action on day one finished outside the podium. Kariappa Ranjan was fourth in the 1500 metres, timing 4:00.03, missing the bronze medal by 0.2 secs, while his compatriot Ravinder Singh Rautela finished sixth in 4:01.43.

In the women’s 1500M, S R Bindu finished sixth in 4:20.92. High jumper Sahana Kumari also finished fourth with a leap of 1.80 metres. Zheng Xingjuan of China won the gold with 1.92 metres.

Pole vaulter Bineesh Jacob had a ‘no mark’ against his name. Former Asian Indoor champion P J Vinod was at third place in men’s heptathlon after the completion of four events on the first day.

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