Ankit, Tintu produce season’s best at Almaty athletics meet

Asian champion Tintu Luka clocked a season’s best 2:02.86s as she won the women’s 800m gold at the G. Kosanov international athletics meet at Almaty. Ankit Sharma won the men’s long jump gold.

Tintu Luka led from start to finish.   -  Rajeev Bhatt (File Photo)

Asian champion Tintu Luka clocked a season’s best 2:02.86s as she won the women’s 800m gold at the G. Kosanov international athletics meet at Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Sunday.

The race was run under a drizzle and Tintu, the national record holder, led from start to finish with the second-placed Kazakh runner more than six seconds behind her. “There was nobody to push Tintu,” said her coach Usha, a tad disappointed that her seasoned trainee could not attain the qualification standard (2:01.00) for the coming Worlds.

Ankit Sharma, who had jumped a sensational 8.19m while breaking the national record at Almaty last year and qualifying for the Rio Olympics, produced a decent 7.96m as he won the men’s long jump gold. The entry standard for the Worlds in the event is 8.15m.

Meanwhile, Kerala’s V. Neena won the women’s long jump with 6.37m while sprinters Dutee Chand (23.70s) and Srabani Nanda (23.81) finished third and fourth in the women’s 200m. Almaty had been a magical stage last year with Indians producing a series of national records but things were quiet this time with none of the Indians qualifying for the World.

The results (Indians only):

Men: Long jump: 1. Ankit Sharma (7.96m).

Women: 200m: 3. Dutee Chand (23.70s), 4. Srabani Nanda (23.81).

800m: 1. Tintu Luka (2:02.86s).

Long jump: 1. V. Neena (6.37m).

Shot put: 1. Manpreet Kaur (17.31m).