Consistent Thomas sets meet mark

Athletics: Open Nationals

High jumper Jithin Thomas threatened the national record before settling for a meet mark on the penultimate day of the 52nd National Open athletics meet at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Wednesday.

Thomas, a consistent performer at the national level, leapt to 2.22 metres for the gold but failed three times at 2.26 metres, one centimetre more than Harishankar Roy’s national mark.

Roy won the silver with 2.19 metres while Karnataka youngster S Harshith, representing ONGC, claimed the bronze at 2.16.

Meanwhile, Asian Games champion Joseph Abraham made a confident return to the top of the podium after two disappointing outings, emerging champion in the 400M hurdles.

Abraham, who had failed to qualify for the Olympic Games, was beaten by his Railway team-mate Satinder Singh at the Inter-State championships in Hyderabad in July.

Subsequently, he finished second again behind Satinder in the All-India inter-railway meet last month in Bhopal.

But on Wednesday, he remained in control right through, notching up another success for Railways in a time of 50.87 seconds. It was his fourth straight success at the Open Nationals. Satinder, who made a late charge, finished second in 51.06.

“I was just doing fitness workouts and wasn’t in serious training but still I could run a good race,” said Abraham, who will be focusing on the 400M flat the next season.

 “I do want to compete in the next Asian Games and will be working towards that goal now,” said Abraham.

Maharashtra’s long jump champion Shraddha Ghule won the women’s triple jump to complete a double, even as the fancied MA Prajusha failed to sparkle. Shraddha reached a distance of 13.17 metres while Prajusha could only win the bronze at 12.86, behind Kerala’s Mereena Joseph (13.07).

Khyati Vakharia won Karnataka’s first gold medal, clearing 3.70 metres in women’s pole vault to upset the fancied V S Surekha (3.65).

Results: Men: 400M hurdles: Joseph Abraham (Railways) 50.87 seconds, 1; Satinder Singh (Railways) 51.06, 2; C Binuaquitto (Tamil Nadu) 51.25, 3. 3000M steeplechase: Ramachandran (Services) 8:53.06, 1; Sanjit Luwang (Services) 8:54.32, 2; Sunil Kumar (Har) 8:57.88, 3. High jump: Jithin C Thomas (Services) 2.22 metres, 1; Harishankar Roy (Jharkhand) 2.19, 2; S Harshith (ONGC) 2.16, 3. Shot put: Jasdeep Singh (ONGC) 18.14 metres, 1; Sathyender Kumar (Railways) 17.85, 2; Om Prakash (ONGC) 17.81, 3. Hammer throw: Kamalpreet Singh (ONGC) 66.28 metres, 1; Neeraj Kumar (Rajasthan) 62.87, 2; Md Aftab Alam (Services) 62.45, 3. 20000M walk: Babu Bhai Panucha (Services) 1:27:26.0, 1; Surinder Singh (Punjab) 1:27:37.0, 2; Chandan Singh (Services) 1:29:01.0, 3.

Women: 400M hurdles: Pappathi (Police) 1:00.33, 1; Raji C T (Punjab) 1:00.81, 2; Anju Rani (ONGC) 1:01.00, 3. 3000M steeplechase: Priyanka Singh Patel (Railways) 10:51.66, 1; Kiran Tiwari (Railways) 10:56.96, 2; Remeswari M V (Kerala) 11:21.74, 3. Triple jump: Shraddha Ghule (Mah) 13.17 metres, 1; Mereena Joseph (Kerala) 13.07, 2; M A Prajusha (Railways) 12.86, 3. Pole vault: Khyati S Vakharia (Kar) 3.70 metres, 1; V S Surekha (Railways) 3.65, 2; Dija K C (Kerala) 3.40, 3. Hammer throw: Manju Bala (Railways) 58.46 metres, 1; Gunjan Singh (Railways) 55.25, 2; Anitha Abraham (Railways) 53.47, 3. Heptathlon: Liksy Joseph (Railways) 4933 points, 1; Niksy Joseph (Railways) 4808, 2; R A Manjushree (Karnataka) 4263, 3.

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