Indian GP: Dutee Chand wins 100m sprint

Dutee Chand won the 100m sprint with an impressive performance at the Indian Grand Prix at Patiala, a tournament that has suffered from lack of participation from many and absence of urgency among those present.

Dutee Chand defeated her rivals Srabani Nanda and H. M. Jothi with a timing of 11.37.   -  PTI (File Photo)

Lack of participation from many and absence of urgency among those who did participate marked the second leg of the Indian Grand Prix here on Friday with the third Olympic qualification event within 10 days producing below par results.

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No new marks or qualifying standards were expected to be achieved at the event and none materialised, though there were some encouraging signs. The biggest was Dutee Chand's timing of 11.37 seconds to win the 100m. Even though it was 0.05 seconds off the Olympic qualifying mark, Dutee's performance – her third successive sub 13.4 timing – proved the sprinter was improving in her consistency. Archrival Srabani Nanda was pushed to third spot with H. M. Jothi completing the predictable triad.

Among the men, Abdul Najeeb Qureshi ran 10.574 seconds to win by five-thousandth of a second ahead of Krishnakumar Mane (10.579), proving that, in the absence of an unfit Amiya Kumar Mallick, the 28-year old national record holder can still match much younger competitors, though that doesn't speak too highly of the current Indian crop.

Apart from these two, only the women's 400m saw sufficient participation, though the quality of running left a lot to be desired. M. R. Poovamma won in 52.67, the only one to clock below 53 seconds. Among the men, only four lined up and Kunhu Mohammed faltered at the starting block. Rajiv Arokia and Mohammed Anas, the two expected to provide some excitement, did not participate despite being present.

While L. Suriya ran with the men in the 5000m in the absence of any competitor (the IAAF rules allow for mixed entries in the case of 5000m and above track events if there are insufficient participants), M. Gomathi could not do so in 1500m.

Most events saw the bare minimum of three participants and none pushing the envelope hard enough. Ankit Sharma jumped to 7.93m in long jump and though it is creditable that he has managed to keep his standards above 7.90 mark, it is time he and K. Premkumar – the national record holder and the only other current Indian jumper with an over-eight metre jump against his name – did more. “With just three participants, there was little time for recovery between jumps. But with the new coach (Bedros Bedrosian), we are hopeful of doing better, he has been good for us,” Sharma said.

Triple jumper Arpinder Singh, training in UK for a while now under the TOPS scheme, failed to go past the 16m mark once again, jumping only to 15.93m – less than the 15.99 he managed at the Federation Cup last week – but still won the competition.

“This is the home stretch in qualifying for the Olympics and I should have done at least 16.40m here and the Federation Cup. The biggest difference is in the training methodology and I am working on it. I realise that there are certain issues in my technique and I need to sort them out, which I will when I return to London now,” Arpinder admitted.

The throw events were equally disappointing. Forget qualifying, no one even came close enough to merit enough attention, falling short of the national marks by at least three metres across events. Discus thrower Krishna Poonia (56.02m) improved on her Fed Cup outing by a metre while Neeraj Chopra, as expected, did not start in javelin.

The results:

Men:

100m: Md. Abdul Najeeb Qureshi (ONGC, 10.574s), Krishnakumar Satish Rane (Maharashtra, 10.579s), Jyotisankar Debnath (Bihar, 10.62s); 400m: Sumit Kumar (Army, 47.41s), Jithin Paul (Kerala, 47.53s), Naagraaj (Railways, 48.14s); 1500m: Ajay Kumar Saroj (ONGC, 3:46:73), Jinson Johnson (Kerala, 3:47:39), Rahul (Delhi, 3:51:64); 5000m: Lakshmanan G. (Tamil Nadu, 14:12:18), Md. Yunus Mohammed (Uttar Pradesh, 14:14:78), Man Sinfh (Uttarakhand, 14:46:57); 400m hurdles DNS; Long Jump: Ankit Sharma (Haryana, 7.93m), Prem Kumar Kumaravel (Tamil Nadu, 7.80m), Samsheer S E (Karnataka, 7.39m); Triple Jump: Arpinder Singh (ONGC, 15.93m), Arivu Selvam (Tamil Nadu, 15.888m), Karthik U (Air Force, 15.85m); Javelin Throw: Shivpal Singh (Air Force, 79.77m), Samarjeet Singh (ONGC, 73.28m), Davinder Singh (Punjab, 72.30m); Discus Throw: Kirpal Singh (ONGC, 59.29m), Dharamraj (SSCB, 57.87m), Arjun (RSPB, 56.80m); Shot Put: Tejinderpal Singh (ONGC, 19.69m), Jasdeep Singh (Punjab, 18.56m, Om Prakash Singh (Haryana, 18.37m).

Women:

100m: Dutee Chand (Odisha, 11.37s), H M Jothi (Canara Bank, 11.57s), Srabani Nanda (Odisha, 11.60s); 400m: M R Poovamma (ONGC, 52.67s), Anilda Thomas (Kerala, 53.10s), Santosh Kumari (CRPF, 54.06s); 1500m DNS; 5000m: L. Suriya (Tamil Nadu, 15:49:97); Long Jump: DNS; Triple Jump: Shilpa Chacko (Kerala, 13.24m), Sheena N V (Kerala, 13.10m), Pooja Jangra (Delhi, 11.29m); Javelin Throw: Annu Rani (UP, 56.77m), Suman Devi (UP, 56.61m), Poonam Rani (Haryana, 48.84m); Discus Throw: Krishna Poonia (Haryana, 56.02m), Navjeet Kaur (ONGC, 54.03m), Parmila (Rajasthan, 51.19m).