Brilliant Jaisha completes double

Brilliant Jaisha completes double

Preeja Sreedharan bids adieu with a silver; Jithin sets new record in high jump

Brilliant Jaisha completes double
The gold medal for an incredible show of endurance went to O P Jaisha as she won the women’s 10000M to complete a distance double at the 35th National Games on Thursday.

Adulation and love, in contrast, were showered upon Preeja Sreedharan, Kerala’s athletics team captain, who bid adieu to a wonderful track career with a silver medal in the same race.

To state Jaisha outclassed the field would be the understatement of the season. On the fourth night of athletics programme at the University Stadium, she simply overran the field, running her own race, in her own world. Every lap, she would increase her lead by ten metres and finally sprinted to the finish in a record time.

The Kerala runner, who had won the 5000M three days ago, clocked 33:08.55 to wipe out Kavita Raut’s 2011 mark of 34:28.26. Preeja (34:58.85) and Swati Gadhave (34:59.73) of Maharashtra were almost 650 metres behind in silver and bronze positions. Preeja’s national record of 31:50.47, set at the Asian Games in 2010, survived the assault, only because Jaisha didn’t have any competition.

“I would have been happier had I broken the national record. That was my aim, but I didn’t have any competition,” said Jaisha, before praising Preeja for her dedication and perseverance. “She had a long break; to come back and win silver is great.”

Preeja, who was a disappointing fourth in the 5000M, ran at a steady pace before sprinting home to a standing ovation. She then went on an emotional victory lap, thanking the fans who lustily cheered for her, shouting “Preeja, Preeja.”

“I am thankful to everyone of my supporters, also my family and my coaches. It has been a long journey and it is time to move over now,” said Preeja, flanked by her current coach Ajith Markose and former coach Nikolai Snesarev, who also praised his star pupil.

The day also witnessed the first National record of the meet, Rajinder Singh of Haryana nailing Anil Kumar Singh’s mark of 80.72M with an incredible 82.23M throw. Rajinder, who was sixth in the Open Nationals with a 70.44M throw, was in top form on the day. The silver winner Devender Singh of Services, was way back at 75.34M.

Renjith Maheswary struck gold in triple jump with a meet record of 16.66 metres while another meet mark came in the 110M hurdles, with Siddanth Thingalaya timing 13.83 seconds for the gold.

The exit of former Asian Games champion Joseph Abraham for a false start in the 400M hurdles provided the shock element while Sini A Markose also went out in the 800M heats, after she was spiked from behind by Pratima Tudu and fell down five metres from the finish.

But she was later reinstated in the final due for Friday after a protest. Karnataka had a silver on the day through Meghana Shetty, who timed a career-best 13.89 to come behind Gayathry Govindarajan of Tamil Nadu in the 100M hurdles. “I had prepared well and was aiming to go under 14 seconds, the silver is a bonus,” said the 19-year-old Meghana.

Late in the night, G Lakshmanan of Services completed a distance double, adding the 10000M gold to the 5000 title he won earlier.

Results: Men: 10000M: G Lakshmanan (Services) 29:13.50 (NMR. Old: 29:39.94, Kashinath Aswale, 2007), 1; Kheta Ram (Services) 30:01.14, 2; Gopi T (Services) 30:15.03, 3.

110M hurdles: Siddanth Thingalaya (Maharashtra) 13.83 seconds (NMR. Old: 14.10, Gurpreet singh, 2001), 1; Surendhar (Tamil Nadu) 13.98, 2; Kuppusamy Premkumar (Telangana) 14.20, 3.

400M hurdles: Durgesh Kumar Pal (Services) 50.66 seconds, 1; Ramachandran (Services) 50.93, 2; Binu Aquito (Tamil Nadu) 51.74, 3.

High jump: Jithin C Thomas (Services) 2.16 metres (NMR. Old: 2.14, Hari Shankar Roy, 2007), 1; Sreenith Mohan (Kerala) 2.16, 2; Jagdeep Singh (Punjab) 2.13, 3.

Triple jump: Renjith Maheswary (Kerala) 16.66 metres (NMR. Old: 16.62, Arpinder Singh, 2011), 1; Arpinder Singh (Punjab) 16.41, 2; Rakesh Babu (Services) 16.29, 3.

Hammer throw: Niraj Kumar (Services) 64.62 metres, 1; Kaushal Singh (Services) 63.36, 2; Sukhdev Singh (Haryana) 63.13, 3.

Javelin throw: Rajinder Singh (Haryana) 82.33 metres (National record. Old: 80.72, Anil Kumar, 2008), 1; Devender Singh (Services) 75.34, 2; Vipin Kasana (Uttar Pradesh) 75.18, 3.

4x100M relay: Kerala 40.77 seconds, 1; Services 41.25, 2; Madhya Pradesh) 41.42, 3.

Women: 10000M: O P Jaisha (Kerala) 33:08.55 (NMR. Old: 34:28.26, Kavita Raut, 2011), 1; Preeja Sreedharan (Kerala) 34:58.85, 2; Swati Gadhave (Maharashtra) 34:59.73, 3.

100M hurdles: Gayathry Govindharajan (Tamil Nadu) 13.66 seconds, 1; Meghana Shetty (Karnataka) 13.89, 2; Deepika (Tamil Nadu) 13.96, 3.

400M hurdles: Anu Raghavan (Kerala) 58.63 seconds, 1; Santosh Kumari (Haryana) 59.63, 2; Jisha V V (Kerala) 1:00.93, 3.

4x100M relay: Kerala 45.26 (NMR. Old: 46.02, AP, 2002), 1; Tamil Nadu 46.29, 2; Odisha 46.51, 3.
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