Sudha Singh shows her supremacy

The 32-year-old seasoned athlete reaped benefits of her training in Bhutan to clock 9:39.59 in the National inter-state athletics championships.

Sudha Singh not only went below the Asian qualifying mark of 9:50.00, but also improved upon her 2013 meet record of 9:45.60, while claiming the title. (File Photo)   -  PTI

Olympian Sudha Singh's supremacy in women's 3,000m steeplechase fetched her an Asian Games berth on Thursday. The 32-year-old seasoned athlete reaped benefits of her training in Bhutan to clock 9:39.59 in the National inter-state athletics championships at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium, here. She not only went below the Asian qualifying mark of 9:50.00, but also improved upon her 2013 meet record of 9:45.60, while claiming the title.

Sudha, a 2010 Asian Games gold medallist and an Asian champion last year, separated herself from the rest after a lap and crossed the finish line to clock her season-best showing.

“The high altitude training in Bhutan really helped me. However, I could not reach my target of 9:25.00. I will continue training with Surender Singh,” said Sudha.

Lalita Babar, who had come 10th in the Rio Olympics, was far from her best and did not finish the race. Shivapal Singh proved a point by recording 82.28m in his final attempt and qualifying for the Asian Games in men's javelin throw.

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Ignored for the Finland camp, Shivapal trained at Patiala under coach Kashinath Naik's guidance to get his new personal best. He will join star thrower Neeraj Chopra, who has been given an exemption, in the Asiad.

In the absence of top two throwers, Neeraj and an injured Vipin Kasana, the contest lacked the thrill. However, it attracted some interest when Rajender Singh breached the 80m mark in his final attempt.

Shivpal, who had hurled the spear to 78.11m in his first attempt, took up the challenge and bettered his previous best of 79.77m, done in Delhi two years ago, and the 18-year-old meet record of 79.67m by Jagdish Bishnoi. Chethan B. Cleared 2.25m to set a new meet record in men's high jump and make it to the Asiad.

In the morning heats, Dutee Chand (11.42) and Nirmala Sheoran (52.36) timed less than the Asiad qualification mark in women's 100m and 400m, respectively.

Jisna Mathew (women's 400m) and Amiya Mallick (men's 100m) were the prominent names who crashed out in the heats. Meanwhile, national record holder in men's 400m did not start in the semifinals race due to fever.

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The results:

Men:

Discus (AQM 61m): 1. Dharamraj Yadav (UP) 58.60m, 2. Baljinder Singh (Pun) 56.83m, 3. Gagandeep Singh (Pun) 53.45m.

4x100m Relay (AQM 38.98): 1. Tamil Nadu 40.22 (NMR, Old 40.49, Kerala, 2013) [Rishwanth S., V.K. Ekakkiya Dasan, Manikanda Arumugan, Siva Kumar), 2. Kerala 40.71 [Jyothi Prasad T.K., Athul Senan, Muhammed Ajmal and Aswin K.P.], 3. Andhra Pradesh 41.09 [J. Debnah, Jaganmohan Rao N., A. Khot, Naresh Kumar K.].

Women:

4x100m Relay (AQM 44.50): 1. Karnataka 46.12 [Apsana Begum, Sneha P.J., Reena George, Prajna S. Prakash], 2. Tamil Nadu 46.24 [Nithya R., Chandralekha A., Dhanalakshmi V., Archana S.], 3. Maharashtra 46.31 [Rashmi Sheregar, Chaitrali Gujar, Rosalin Lewis, Diandra Valladares].