Impressive Tintu claims gold

Athletics Asian Athletics Championships : Kerala girl clinches 800M amidst rain as India finish third in the medals tally

Impressive Tintu claims gold

 Tintu Luka claimed her first major gold medal with a superb run in the women’s 800M as India signed off the 21st Asian Athletics Championships with a clutch of medals and a tinge of disappointment on a wet Sunday here.

Competing in pouring rain, Tintu clocked a splendid 2:01.53 for India’s fourth and final gold medal of these championships at the Wuhan Sports Centre. Shortly after, the Indian 4x400M relay team, the defending champions, slipped to silver position behind China in a close finish.

On the final day, India also won another silver in the men’s 800M and bronze medals in the men’s and women’s 200M to finish with a haul of four gold, five silver and four bronze medals to be placed third behind China (15-13-13) and Qatar (7-2-1) on the final table.
In terms of gold medals, it was their best performance since the 2007 Asian meet in Amman, Jordan when they had a tally of five gold, five silver and five bronze to finish second behind China. In the previous edition in 2013, India had a tally of 3-5-9.

Tintu’s gold medal was India’s first in the two-lap race in twenty years, with Jyotirmoyee Sikdar being the last Indian winner in the 1995 edition. Heavy rain made her task doubly difficult but Tintu weathered it with a determined run, leading from the start in her customary way.

“It feels great to finally win a major gold. Many a time in the past, she has won silver and bronze when gold was expected of her. Today she had to do it and she did,” said a delighted P T Usha, Tintu’s coach. “It was raining so hard that we struggled to warm up. The track was also full of puddles and to run this time in such weather is really great,” added Usha.

Tintu finished ahead of China’s Zhao Jing (2:03.40) and Sri Lanka’s Nimali Liyanarachhi (2.03.94) but the wet weather prevented her from dipping under the Olympic qualification time of 2:01.00 narrowly. The Indian record holder at 1:59.17, Tintu has already qualified for the Beijing World Championships.

Dharambir Singh produced a national record of 20.66 seconds to win the bronze in the men’s 200M, erasing the 15-year-old mark of 20.73 set by Anil Kumar. Qatari Femi Ogunode won the gold in 20.32 seconds to complete a sprint double.

In the corresponding women’s race, Srabani Nanda clocked a personal best of 23.54 to pick up the bronze behind Kazakhstan’s Vitoriya Zyabkina (23.09) and Olg Safronova (23.46).

Also creditable was the performance of Jinson Johnson, who won the silver in the men’s 800, though the timing was nothing to shout home about. Jinson clocked 1:49.69 to come behind Qatar’s defending champion Musaab Bala (1:49.40).

India missed out on the women’s 4x400 relay gold to China in a close contest. The Indian quartet of Jisna Mathew, Tintu Luka, Debashree Muzumdar and M R Poovamma clocked 3:33.81 while the hosts made a late surge to edge ahead in 3:33.44. India were fourth in the men’s 4x400 in 3:05.14.

Lalita Babar, the 3000M steeplechase champion, failed to finish the 10000M while Annu Rani was fifth in the javelin throw at 51.26.

Barshim shocked

Qatar’s high jump sensation and Asian record holder Mutaz Essa Barshim, troubled by the rain, ended third with 2.20M. Barshim holds the Asian record at 2.43. But Qatar had the satisfaction of sweeping all the gold medals from 100M to 5000M in the men’s section.

Results: Men: 200M: Femi Ogunode (Qatar) 20.32 seconds, 1; F Al Subaie (Saudi Arabia) 20.63, 2; Dharambir Singh (India) 20.66, 3.

800M: Mussab Abdelrahman Bala (Qatar) 1:49.40, 1; Jinson Johnson (India) 1:49.69, 2; Sho Kawamoto (Japan) 1:50.50, 3.

High jump: Eko Takashi (Japan) 2.24 metres, 1; Hsiang Chun-Hsien (Chinese Taipei) 2.24, 2; Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) 2.20, 3.

Decathlon: Akihiko Nakmuro (Japan) 7773 points, 1; Guo Qi (China) 7289, 2; Hu Yufei (China) 7042, 3.

4x400M relay: Qatar 3:02.50,1; Saudi Arabia 3:02.62, 2; Japan 3:03.47, 3. India 3:05.79, 5.

Women: 200M: Viktoriya Zyabkina (Kazakhstan) 23.09 seconds, 1; Olga Safranova (Kazakhstan) 23.46, 2; Srabani Nanda (India) 23.54, 3.

800M: Tintu Luka (India) 2:01.53, 1; Zhao Jing (China) 2:03.40, 2; Nimali Liyanarachhi (Sri Lanka) 2:03.94, 3.

10000M: Alia Mohammed (UAE) 31:52.29, 1; Eunice Chumba (Bahrain) 32:22.29, 2; Michi Numata (Japan) 32:44.57.

Triple jump: Wang Wupin (China)
13.76 metres, 1; Li Yanmei (China) 13.57, 2; Wang Rong (China) 13.44, 3.
Shot put: Guo Tianqian (China) 18.59 metres, 1; Gao Yang (China) 17.98, 2; Bian Ka (China) 17.78, 3.

Javelin throw: Liu Shiying (China) 61.33 metres, 1; Yang Xinli (China) 59.24, 2; Risa Miyashita (Japan) 54.76, 3. Annu Rani (Ind) 51.26, 5; Suman Devi (Ind) 46.55, 9.
4x400M relay: China 3:33.44, 1; India 3:33.81, 2; Kazakhstan 3:35.14, 3.

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