Nitender, Khyati sparkle on opening day

Uttarakhand’s Nitender Singh pipped pre-race favourite Kheta Ram of Rajasthan in an exciting 5000M even as Khyati Vakharia set a meet record in women’s pole vault on the opening day of the 17th Federation Cup athletics meet here on Tuesday.

In a quick race where the top four finishers went under the 14-minute mark, Nitender clocked 13 minutes 55.28 seconds to emerge the champion ahead of Kheta Ram, who was one tenth of a second behind for the silver medal. Mohd Yunus from Maharashtra and ONGC runner Suresh Kumar were third and fourth, clocking 13:55.62 and 13:56.53 respectively.

It was the quickest 5000M in India in the last four years. Surendra Singh, who had clocked two sub-14 mins timings in 2009 in the country, is now a coach training India’s women long distance runners, including Preeja Sreedharan.

ONGC’s Khyathi Vakharia, a qualified medical practitioner, became the second Indian after V S Surekha to cross the 4.00M barrier in women’s pole vault. Her effort bettered the meet record of 3.85M set by Surekha in 2006.

Big upset

There was an upset in the men’s triple jump where Arpinder Singh won the gold at 16.84 metres beating favourite Renjith Maheswary (16.65). Arpinder missed the World Championship ‘B’ standard by one centimetre.

Kavita Raut, representing ONGC, was an easy winner in the women’s 10000M, clocking 35:30.21.  Three other runners from Kavita home state Maharashtra, Lalita Babar (35:35.08), Monika Athare (35:44.80) and Manisha Salunkhe (36:05.16),have finished in that order behind the winner.

National 110M hurdles record-holder Siddanth Thingalaya, running the 100M this time, defeated Shameer Mon and Manikanda Raj to become the fastest man of the meet with a time of 10.55 secondss. Kerala girl Merlin K Joseph won the women’s title in an excellent 11.75 secs.

Sahana Kumari (1.84M) and Jhuma Khatoon (4:31.01) won the women’s high jump and 1500M respectively. While Sahana had a cake-walk in her event, Jhuma faced a tough time with experienced Sinimole Paulose (4:31.53) and Pratima Tadu (4:31.60) for her win.

Results: Men: 100M: Siddanth Thingalaya (ONGC) 10.55 seconds, 1; Shameer Mon (Chhattisgarh) 10.61, 2; M Manikanand Raj (Andhar Pradesh) 10.63, 3.

5000M: Nitender Singh (Uttarakhand) 13:55.28, 1; Kheta Ram (Rajasthan) 13:55.38, 2; Md Yunus (Maharashtra) 13:55.62, 3. Discus throw: Arjun (Tata Motors) 56.78 metres, 1; Dharmaraj Yadav (Uttar Pradesh) 53.50, 2; Vikas Punia (Rajasthan) 53.33, 3.

Triple jump: Arpinder Singh (ONGC) 16.84, 1; Renjith Maheswary (Tamil Nadu) 16.65, 2; Rakesh Babu (Navy) 15.96, 3.

Women: 100M: Merlin K Joseph (Kerala) 11.75, 1; Srabani Nanda (Odisha) 11.89, 2; Asha Roy (West Bengal) 11.90, 3.

10000M: Kavita Raut (ONGC) 35:30.21, 1; Lalita Babar (Maharashtra) 35:35.08, 2; Monika Athre (Maharashtra).

High jump: Sahana Kumari (Karnataka) 1.84, 1; Siji NK (Kerala) 1.75, 2; Tintu ND (Kerala) 1.70, 3.

Pole vault: Khyati S Vakharia (ONGC) 4.0 metres (NMR, Old: 3.85, VS Surekha, 2006) 1; VS Sureka (Tamil Nadu) 3.70, 2; Dija KC (Kerala) 3.70, 3.

Javelin throw: Mukash Kumari (Haryana) 52.69, 1; Annu Rani (ONGC) 49.15, 2; Rupinder Kaur (Punjab) 49.10, 3.

1500M: Jhuma Khatoon (Jharkhand) 4:31.01, 1; Sinimole Paulose (ONGC) 4:31.53, 2; Pratima Tadu (Assam) 4:31.60

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