Long jump gold for Prajusha

Railways dominate opening day of Open Nationals

M A Prajusha leapt to the top spot in women’s long jump as Railway athletes dominated the opening day of the 53rd Open National athletics championships at the Birsa Munda Stadium on Saturday.

Prajusha, who had won a silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, won the gold with an effort of 6.25 metres, finishing ahead of her Railway team-mate Neena V (6.20) and Bhumika Thakur (5.95) of Punjab.

Railways’ domination was pronounced in the women’s section, where they won three gold medals. Apart from Prajusha, Suriya Loganathan (women’s 5000M) and Manpreet Kaur (women’s shot put) were the other winners for Railways on the day.

Suriya edged out Asian Games champion Preeja Sreedharan for the gold, clocking 16:24.58 to Preeja’s 16:27.70.

Durgesh Kumar Pal of Services won the men’s 400M hurdles in 50.89 seconds.
The meet also witnessed a come-back by the Combined  Universities team fielded by Association of Indian Universities after a hiatus of nearly one and half decades.

 In the men’s 100M, Karnataka’s G N Bopanna entered the semifinals while in the women’s dash, H M Jyothi made the semis. Karnataka’s R Mahalakshmi and Uma Bhagyalakshmi went out in the preliminary stage itself, finishing sixth in their respective heats.

Results: Men: 5000M: G Lakshmanan (Services) 13:58.53, 1; Suresh Kumar (ONGC) 14:01.60, 2; Inderjit Patel (ONGC) 14:19.70, 3. 400M hurdles: Durgesh Kumar Pal (Services) 50.89 seconds, 1; Jithin Paul (Railways) 51.14, 2; Joseph G Abraham (Railways) 51.31, 3. Pole vault: KP Bimin (Railways) 5.00M, 1; Balakrishna (Railways) 4.80, 2; Kundan (Haryana) 4.70, 3.

Women: 5000M: Suriya Loganathan (Railways) 16:24.58, 1; Preeja Sreedharan (Railways) 16:27.70, 2; Kavita Raut (ONGC) 16:33.50, 3. 400M hurdles: R Elavarasi (Tamil Nadu) 1:00.80, 1; Anju Rani (ONGC) 1:01.55, 2; A Papathi (Police) 1:01.88, 3. Shot put: Manpreet Kaur (Railways) 15.03 metres, 1; Neha Singh (Police) 13.62, 2; U Vasumathi (LIC) 13.12, 3. Long jump: M A Prajusha (Railways) 6.25 metres, 1; Neena V (Railways) 6.20, 2; Bhumika Thakur (Punjab) 5.95, 3. Hammer throw: Poonam Devi (Haryana) 54.14M, 1; Sonam (LIC) 53.47, 2; Manju Bala (Railways) 53.40, 3.

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