Renjith, OP Singh sparkle

Renjith, OP Singh sparkle

Long distance double for Surya; Srabani Nanda claims women's 200M gold

Renjith, OP Singh sparkle

Favourites India raked in the moolah in overwhelming fashion, signing off the track and field events at the 12th South Asian Games in glorious style here on Thursday.

Shot-putter Om Prakash Singh, triple jumper Renjith Maheswary and the women’s 4x400M relay were the main performers for the hosts at the Indira Gandhi Stadium and they didn’t disappoint one bit on another cold and hazy evening with the support cast also pitching in with wonderful acts.

The Indians claimed 11 gold, seven silver and one bronze on the day, taking their total in the athletics lane to 26 gold, 28 silver and eight bronze with the two marathons set to take place on Friday.

Renjith, known to misfire on the big stage, had a chance to redeem himself although the level of competition at this Games is nowhere close to the ones seen in some continental level meets. Nonetheless, the 30-year-old was keen to leave his mark here and he did so by setting a new meet record in the triple jump event.

Renjith started with an effort of 14.85 metres before leaping to 16.45 in his next attempt that eventually proved to be the winning jump. He managed 16.38 and 16.02 in his third and fourth jumps and with his closest rival Surendhar J managing a best of 15.85, the ‘no-mark’ in the final two attempts didn’t matter much as he claimed gold quite easily.

In the absence of Inderjeet Singh, Om Prakash stepped into fill the breach with an 18.45M effort to take the shot put gold.

The women’s 4x400M relay team, the Asian Games champion over the last four editions, faced a stiff challenge from the Sri Lankans at the halfway stage when the islanders took a surprise lead after WKLA Nimali outpaced Sini Jose. Ashwini Akkunji, who won the 400M hurdles silver earlier in the evening, lagged E Rathnakuamri for about 125 metres before catching up around the bend.

She stroked ahead into the straight and then handed the baton to anchor MR Poovamma with a substantial lead. The 400M champion at this meet then completed the job in fine fashion, powering home in 3:35.44, well ahead of the Lankans (3:38.89).

L Surya set a new meet record in the women’s 10000M race. She stayed just behind the bunch for the better part before exploding on the final straight that saw her wage an intense battle with compatriot Swaty Gadhave and Sri Lanka’s SA Lama Hewage. The Indian started pushing leader Lama and while the tiring Sri Lankan did her best for about 30 metres after the bend, she ran out of gas as Surya crossed home in 32:39.86, completing the 5000-10000 double.

The other record breaker for the Indians was Suman Devi who hurled the javelin to 59.45 metres, obliterating Gurmeet Kaur’s record of 52.38 set way back in 1999.

Srabani Nanda broke Sri Lanka’s tight grip in the sprints, staving off compatriot Dutee Chand for the 200M gold. The 100M winner Rumeshikha Rathnayaka, despite a good start, was pushed to third place.

Results: Men: 200M: MV Suranjaya De Silva (SL) 21.00 seconds, 1; Saaid Hassan (Mdv) 21.15, 2; Liaquat Ali (Pak) 21.53, 3.

1500M: Ajay Kumar Saroj (Ind) 3:53.46, 1; Sanjeewa Lakmal (SL) 3:54.16, 2; Rahul (Ind) 3:55.07, 3.

400M hurdles: Dharun A (Ind) 50.54, 1; Jithin Paul (Ind) 50.57, 2; Mahboob Ali (Pak) 52.04, 3.

4x400M relay: India (Kunhimohammed, Mohamed Anaz, A Dharun, Arokia Rajiv) 3:06.74, 1; Sri Lanka (3:07.59) 2; Pakistan (3:14.82).

Triple jump: Renjith Maheswary (Ind) 16.45 (NMR; Old: 16.26, Chaminda S Weerasinghe, 2006) 1; Surendhar J (Ind) 15.89, 2; Muhammad Afzal (Pak) 15.76, 3.

Shot up: Om Prakash Singh (Ind) 18.45, 1; Jasdeep Singh (Ind) 17.56, 2; Muhammad Waseem (Pak) 16.28, 3.

Women: 200M: Srabani Nanda (Ind) 23.91, 1; Dutee Chand (Ind) 24.14, 2; Rumeshikha Rathnayaka (SL) 24.17, 3.

1500M: Chithra PU (Ind) 4:25.59, 1; GTA Abeyrathna (SL) 4:25.75, 2; UKN Rathnayaka (SL) 4:26.70, 3.

10000M: L Surya (Ind) 32:39.86 (NMR; Old: 34:27.13, Preeja Sreedharan, 2006) 1; Swati Gadhave (Ind) 33:57.09, 2; SA Lama Hewage (SL) 36:11.39, 3.

4x400M relay: India (Jauna Murmu, Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji, MR Poovamma) 3:35.44, 1; Sri Lanka (3:38.89) 2; Bangladesh (3:53.27) 3.

400 hurdles: Jauna Murmu (Ind) 57.69, 1; Ashwini Akkunji (Ind) 58.92, 2; Kawshalya (SL) 59.87, 3.

Javelin throw: Suman Devi (Ind) 59.45 (NMR; Old: 52.38, Gurmeet Kaur, 1999) 1; Annu Rani (Ind) 57.13, 2; BL Nadeeka Lakmali (SL) 54.82 3.