Jauna qualifies with meet record

Dharun pips Santhosh Kumar to clinch 400m hurdles.

Published : Jun 26, 2018 20:49 IST , GUWAHATI

National record-holder Dharun Ayyasamy, centre, did well to stave off stiff competition to win the 400m hurdles.
National record-holder Dharun Ayyasamy, centre, did well to stave off stiff competition to win the 400m hurdles.
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National record-holder Dharun Ayyasamy, centre, did well to stave off stiff competition to win the 400m hurdles.

Jauna Murmu’s new-found belief enabled her to qualify for the Asian Games with a new meet record in the women’s 400m hurdles on the opening day of the National inter-State athletics championships at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium here on Tuesday.

For Jauna, who was suspended for two years in 2011 for a doping violation, this was her best performance in many years.

The Odisha athlete, who preferred to train under her coach M.L. Dogra in Delhi instead of joining the camp in Poland, clocked the best timing in the heats in the humid morning and produced another clinical performance in the finals on a damp track in the evening.

Smooth passage

Jauna progressed smoothly before taking a comfortable lead in the home stretch and took the title with a timing of 57.02. She bettered Anu Raghavan’s meet record of 57.21 and breached the Asiad qualifying mark of 57.52. Änu came second with 57.68.

“The track was heavy due to the afternoon rains. Could have done better,” said Jauna whose personal best was 56.86 set in 2010 Asian Games.

“I could have broken P.T. Usha madam’s National record (55.42) had I repeated my showing in the training.”

Difficult to focus

Jauna said it was difficult for her to focus after the doping episode. “I never believed that I can make a comeback, but my coach insisted that I could do it. I can win a medal in the Asiad.”

National record-holder Dharun Ayyasamy beat T. Santhosh Kumar to emerge as the champion in a closely-fought men’s 400m hurdles final. A determined Dharun made light of a hamstring injury and lack of training to clock 49.68 and qualify for the Asian Games with a new meet record.

All podium finishers came inside the Asian Games qualifying time of 50.80, but only two can make the team.

“I returned from Poland early, after suffering a hamstring injury. I didn’t train for the last 25 days and competed here,” said Dharun whose personal best of 49.45 came in the Federation Cup in Patiala in March.

Dutee Chand’s 23.46 in the 200m heats was better than the Asiad qualifying mark 23.50.

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