National Athletics c’ships: Sarita, Tejinder clinch gold

Sarita and Tajinder found fault with the throwing circle during the 57th National Open athletics championships at the Nehru-B ground in Chennai.

Tejinder Pal Toor of Services won the first place in the men’s shot put with a throw of 18.86m.   -  V. Raju

Slumped in her chair, Sarita P. Singh looked sullen. She had just hurled the metal ball to a distance of 60.54m to bag the women’s hammer throw gold in the 57th National Open athletics championships at the Nehru-B ground here on Monday.

Having created a National record (65.25m) at the Federation Cup this June in Patiala, the Railway athlete was crestfallen that she couldn’t deliver her best. Speaking to Sportstar, she blamed the poor quality of the circle. “It wasn’t up to the mark,” she said. Her statement was concurred by an official present there.

Like Sarita, Tejinder Pal Toor of Services, who won the first place in the men’s shot put with a throw of 18.86m, also found fault with the throwing circle, saying that it was ‘slow’ and that played a part in his mediocre display.

National record holder Om Prakash Singh was leading with a throw of 18.80m in his second attempt. Till the fifth attempt, Tejinder, a silver medallist in the Asian championship in Bhubaneswar, could manage a best of 18.73. However, in his sixth and last effort, Tejinder came up with a 18.86m to bag the gold. Om Prakash finished second.

“This is my first gold in the Open Nationals. I am disappointed with my performance as the flooring was slow. And moreover, we had a lot of travelling to do as I took part in an International event in Kazakhstan and the Asian Indoor Games in Turkmenistan,” said Tejinder.

As expected, G. Lakshmanan of Services and L. Surya (Railways) won the men’s and women’s 5000m respectively with a measure of comfort.

Local organisers said that the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) delegates who had visited the Nehru-B ground the other day didn’t say anything about the shot put and hammer throw facilities, which led them to believe that all was well. In terms of providing basic facilities to mediapersons, the local organisers have failed miserably till date.

The results:

Men: 1. 5000m: G. Lakshmanan (Services) 14:04.21, 2. Abhishek Pal (Railways) 14:08.38, 3. Mann Singh (Services) 14:08.87; Shot put: 1. Tejinder Pal Toor(Services) 18.86m, 2. Om Prakash Singh (ONGC) 18.80, 3. Jasdeep Singh(Railways) 18.51.

Women: 5000m: 1. L. Surya (Railways) 16:02.85, 2. Chinta Yadav (Railways) 16:40.45, 3. Saigeeta Naik (All India Police Sports Board) 16:53.97; Hammer throw: 1. Sarita P Singh (Railways) 60.54m, 2. Gunjan Singh (Railways) 59.10m, 3. Jyoti (Haryana) 57.07m; Long jump: 1. V. Neeva (Railways) 6.35m, 2. PriyankaKirketta (Jharkhand) 6.22, 3. D. Aishwarya (Karnataka) 6.16.

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