Anu, Sarita better meet records

Manpreet hits gold despite shocking low.

Anu Raghavan recently won the silver medal at the recent Asian Athletics in Bhubaneswar.   -  S. Mahinsha

They call the 400m hurdles the killer event in athletics, it’s so tough that it sort of drains you. And for a girl who is now focused on getting into the Indian 4x400m relay team for the coming London Worlds, it was a bit surprising to see Anu Raghavan do the hurdles at the 57th National Inter-State Athletics championships which began here on Saturday evening.

“I know it’s not ideal doing both here but when I went to the recent Federation Cup, I was not near my peak in the hurdles but now I am, so I wanted to see what sort of timings I could do,” said the 24-year-old, the silver medallist at the recent Asian Athletics in Bhubaneswar, after breaking the meet record and improving her personal best to 57.21s.

“This will give me a lot of confidence when I take on 400m later here.”

Tough conditions

While Anu hit her best, Asian women’s shot put champion Manpreet Kaur found the conditions tough and was shockingly, more than three metres below her national record of 18.86m while winning the gold.

“The conditions were not ideal, I could not get a proper grip and turn,” said Manpreet, who won the gold with her opening throw, a 15.65m. She had three fouls and her other two throws were below 14m.

Though the track, which was hosting its first meet, had a nice look, it was a bit hard and the area around it was slushy and slippery.

“This is the last qualification meet (deadline July 23) for the Worlds and this is not the sort of condition that will bring out one’s best,” said Manpreet.

With the AFI officials busy with hosting the recent Asian Championships, it looks like proper supervision was not given to the Guntur venue for this meet.

However, that did not stop UP’s inconsistent Sarita Singh from breaking the women’s hammer throw meet record with a 63.22m effort.

Tamil Nadu’s G. Lakshmanan, the double gold medallist at the Asian meet, bagged the 5000m men’s gold, while his team-mate L. Suriya won the women’s title.

The results: Men: 5000m: 1. G. Lakshmanan (TN) 14:07.76s, 2. Man Singh (Utr) 14:20.50, 3. Kalidas Hirave (Mah) 14:24.91.

400m hurdles: 1. M.P. Jabir (AP) 50.33s, 2. M. Ramachandran (AP) 51.17, 3. Santhosh Kumar (TN) 51.40.

Pole vault: 1. Anuj (Har) 4.90m, 2. V. Krishna Prasanth (AP) 4.80, 3. Parveen Kumar (Har) 4.80.

Women: 5000m: 1. L. Suriya (TN) 15:46.92s, MR, OR 15:57.05, O.P. Jaisha, 2014), 2. Sanjivani Babur Jadhav (AFI) 16:35.64, 3. Preenu Yadav (Del) 16:56.60.

400m hurdles: 1. Anu Raghavan (Ker) 57.21s MR, OR 57.43, Ashwini Akkunji, 2014), 2. Jauna Murmu (Odi) 58.68, 3. Sarita Gaikwad (Guj) 1:00.27.

High jump: 1. Gayathry Sivakumar (Ker) 1.79m, 2. Laimwn Narzary (Asm) 1.76, 3. Jinu Maria Manuel (Ker) 1.73.

Shot put: 1. Manpreet Kaur (Har) 15.65m, 2. Anamika Das (UP) 14.42, 3. Ramanpreet Kaur (Pun) 14.25.

Hammer: 1. Sarita R. Singh (UP) 63.22m MR, OR 62.74, Manju Bala, 2014; 2. Gunjan Singh (UP) 59.34, 3. Sarbjeet Kaur (Pun) 53.96.

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