Anilda close to her best, bags gold

Federation Cup champion Anilda Thomas was close to her best, clocking 52.60s, as she won the women’s 400m gold in the Sprints and Relay Cup on Saturday.

Anilda Thomas was the best Indian at Erzurum by a wide margin.   -  S. Mahinsha

Federation Cup champion Anilda Thomas was close to her best, clocking 52.60s, as she won the women’s 400m gold in the Sprints and Relay Cup on Saturday.

Anilda defeated Adelina Pastor, a member of the Romanian team which won the 4x400m relay bronze at the indoor Worlds in the United States in March, and Asian silver medallist M. R. Poovamma en route to the title in a time which was the second fastest of her career, but behind her personal best of 52.40.

“The conditions were very bad, it was very cold,” Anilda told Sportstar after the race. She is working hard to attain the Rio Olympics qualification time of 52.20s.

The Kerala athlete was the best Indian at Erzurum by a wide margin. Poovamma, who has a season’s best of 52.60, was third in 53.68. Aswini Akkunji (54.69) was fourth and Jauna Murmu (54.79) fifth.

Priyanka Panwar (55.17) was seventh overall, while Anu Raghavan (55.18), Debashree Majumdar (55.45) and Sini Jose (55.89) finished behind her.

Many of the events scheduled for Saturday were postponed to Sunday owing to rain.

Sini ninth

Meanwhile, former Asian champion Sini A. Markose (formerly Sinimol Paulose), who has been running the 1500m in the last few meets, moved down to 800m in Leiden (The Netherlands) on Saturday. She had a time of 2:05.12s while finishing ninth in the Golden Spike meet.

That made Sini, who has a personal best of 2:02.02s clocked in Chennai in 2006 and Jamshedpur the next year, the country’s second-fastest two-lap runner this season, after Asian champion and national record-holder Tintu Luka. The entry standard for the Olympics in the 800m is 2:01.50s.

In the other events, Srabani Nanda’s timing of 23.83s helped her take the fourth spot (Rio entry 23.20s) in the women’s 200m. Sajeesh Joseph was far from his season’s best while claiming the sixth spot in the men’s 800m in 1:53.36.

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