Sudha secures Olympic berth

Sudha secures Olympic berth

UP athlete qualifies in steeplechase; Lalita, Arokia Rajiv set national marks

Sudha secures Olympic berth
Sudha Singh stole the thunder on Friday by becoming the first athlete to hit the Rio Games qualification mark at the Federation Cup National Athletic Championships at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Sudha’s timing of 9:31.86 in the 3000 metres steeplechase was far from her liking but eased her pressure of making the cut. She settled for second place behind Lalita Babar, who bettered her own national record of 9:27.86, achieved last year. Babar, who has already qualified for the Olympics both in marathon and steeplechase, finished her race in 9: 27:09.

For Sudha, who had also qualified in the marathon event, it was a crucial race to keep up her dream of participating in steeplechase in Rio. “I had been participating in marathon for last one and a half years. So coach (Nikolai Snesarev) had told me it was my first and last event to qualify. I am not happy with my timing, I feel I could have clocked 9:25 or 9:23. But I have qualified for Olympics and that’s a big relief,” Sudha said.

Snesarev, too, felt Indian girls will have to work on their timings. “With these timings, we won’t even qualify for the finals in the Olympics. So this is one area we need to improve upon,” he said.

In the men’s 400M, Arokia Rajiv fell short by 0.07 seconds to make the cut for Rio. Rajiv timed 45.47 seconds as against the qualification mark of 45.40. He, however, shattered the national record of 45.48 seconds set by KM Binu at the Athens Olympics.

“Yes, it was a close miss but it is ok. The competitions have just started. I faltered at the finish. It would have been nice had there been someone to push me. I would be leaving for Poland next month for training-cum-competition,” Rajiv said.

Muhammed Anas settled for second place with 45.75 seconds and Army’s Kunhumuhammed clocked 46.08 for the third spot.

In the women’s 400M, Anilda Thomas of Kerala clocked a personal best of 52.40 seconds to finish first, ahead of seasoned MR Poovamma who timed 52.60 and Jauna Murmu of ONGC (53.37). Anilda missed the qualifying mark by 0.2 seconds.

Haryana’s Krishna Poonia, returning from an injury, bagged the women’s discus gold medal with her throw of 55.09 meters but continued to be way off the mark. The Olympic qualification mark stands at 61.0. She would be leaving for US for training next month.

Correction: On Thursday, Amiya Kumar Mallick clocked 10.26 seconds to win the 100M and not as published.

Men: 400M: Arokia Rajiv (TN) 45.47 seconds (National record. Old: 45.48, K M Binu, 2004), 1; Muhammed Anas (Kerala) 45.75, 2; Kunhumuhammed (Army) 46.08, 3.

1500M: Ajay Kumar Saroj (ONGC) 3:44.60, 1; Sandeep Singh (Haryana) 3:45.86, 2; Rahul Harveer (Delhi) 3:46.07, 3.

3000M Steeplechase: Naveen Kumar (Haryana) 8:55.04, 1; Durga Bahadur (Manipur) 9:01.91, 2; Sachin Patil (Mahrashtra) 9:12.99, 3.

Long Jump: K Prem Kumar (RSPB) 7.88 metres, 1; Ankit Sharma (Haryana) 7.76, 2; SE Samsheer (Karnataka) 7.62, 3.

Hammer Throw: Niraj Kumar (Rajasthan) 68.46 metres, 1; Sukhdev Singh (Haryana) 65.61, 2; Gurjohar Singh (BSF) 61.83, 3.

Decathlon: Narender (Haryana) 7049 points, 1; Jagtar Dhillon (Rajasthan) 6860, 2; Muhammed Hafse (Kerala)  6853.

Women: 400M Anilda Thomas (Kerala) 52.40 seconds,1; M.R. Poovamma(ONGC) 52. 60; 2 Jauna Murmu (ONGC) 53.37, 3.

1500M: OP Jaisha (Kerala) 4:18.69, 1; Chitra P U (Kerala) 4:29.17, 2; Adesh Kumari (Haryana)  4:30.58, 3.

3000M Steeplechase: Lalita Babar (Maharashtra) 9:27.09, 1; Sudha Singh (UP) 9:31.86, 2; Parul Chaudhary (UP) 10:47.47, 3.

High Jump: Sahana Kumari (Karnataka) 1.80 metres, 1; Angel P Devasia (Kerala) 1.73, 2; Chandana KC (Karnataka) 1.73, 3.

Discus Throw: Krishna Poonia (Haryana) 55.09 metres, 1; Sandeep Kumari (Haryana) 54.93, 2; Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (ONGC) 53.65, 3.
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