A few notable performances

Published : Nov 10, 2001 00:00 IST


PROGRAMMED to precede the Afro-Asian Games - now postponed indefinitely - the three-day National Open, reckoned as one of the two prestigious athletics competitions in the country, had a prosaic run, punctuated though by a few notable performances, in Chennai. Minus the quarter-miler, Paramjit Singh and the triple jumper, Anju George (nee Markose), the list of stars was quite impressive. Yet the overall performance chart cannot be projected as exemplary.

There was an undercurrent of disappointment among many who wondered what they were performing their best for. The much postponed National Games as a goal was only a small consolation in the face of the shifting of dates for the SAF Games in Islamabad and the Afro-Asian Games in New Delhi. But the thirst for sporting excellence cannot be hidden and there were a few who projected this aspect with beaming nonchalance as hurdler Gurpreet Singh, sprinter Anil Kumar, hammer thrower Pramod Kumar Tiwari, jumper Sanjay Kumar Rai, and heptathlete, Soma Biswas, and sprinter Kavitha Pandya illustrated.

Even before the meet began, a day earlier than scheduled on October 18, the focus was on the high hurdler, Gurpreet Singh. This was understandable. For, only a few weeks before, Gurpreet Singh had smashed a 27-year old record held by Gurubachan Singh Randawa in the 110 metres set in 1964 at Tokyo. On the opening day, Gurpreet Singh shot down the meet record that stood in the name of P. T. Yesudoss at 14.25s. clocking 14.18s. In accomplishing this, Gurpreet left no one in doubt that he is the brightest star in the firmament at the moment with a future that promises enormous possibilities provided he stays in focus. As though to confirm such a line of thinking, he added to his bag the 400 metres too, though not with a new time.

For Sanjay Kumar Rai, it was again a meet that should be remembered for more than one reason. He recorded his fourth eight metre jump, 8.02m to be precise, which was declared wind assisted. He had to be content with the gold but the next best by him was only 7.60m. Undaunted by the turn of events, Sanjay Kumar Rai, proved his worth in the triple jump with a new meet record of 16.23m. This was 0.21m improvement on the previous best in the meet by B. S. Vinod of Police in 1996 in Delhi.

When sprinter Anil Kumar of Services shattered the meet record of 10.50s not many eyebrows were raised. For, this fine specimen of an athlete was only expected to do that after missing a few important meets due to injury. He was also waiting for the AAFI to ratify his record 10.21s set in a circuit meet at Bangalore. Facing stiff competition from Anand Menezes, Thirugnanadorai and Ajayraj Singh, the Services star surged ahead after about 40 metres to finish in style with a time of 10.37 clipping 0.10s. from the old record set in 1999 at Bhopal. Needless to say, he cornered the 200m also from among the same group of sprinters.

Consistency is the key to hammer thrower Pramod Kumar Tiwari's career. For the 26-year old Allahabadi, the area to be conquered remains large in the Asian context. But he is progressing well if his record in the National Open is any indication. With the national record by Ishtiaq Ahmed enmeshed in a dispute of ratification, he crossed the 70 metre mark in Chennai finishing with a throw of 70.05m. in the fifth attempt. His meet record was 68.60m in 1999 at Bhopal.

On the distaff side, the quality projected was mediocre. Barring G. G. Pramila in long jump on the opening day and that of Soma Biswas in the heptathlon on the final day, there was nothing much to talk about. More known for her skills in heptathlon, Pramila preferred the 100m hurdles and long jump, and distinguished herself in the latter event with a jump of 6.43 metres improving her mark of 6.38m set in Kolkata last year.

But more creditable was the show by Soma Biswas whose total of 5739 points 34 ahead of the record by Pramila Ganapathy. But this tally was no surprise for one who holds the national mark of 6186 created in the same Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

While international K. M. Beenamol won the quarter-mile and anchored the relay for Railways with expected degree of comfort, Kavitha Pandya of Railways picked up a double in sprints from a field which included prominent names like Vinitha Tripathi, V. Jayalakshmi and Pandeswari.

In a competition where the institutional teams hold sway with a collection of top stars, the State units have very little to fight against. Railways shattered the record in 4 x 100m relay and won the overall championship with an aggregate of 324 points.

But Tamil Nadu this time proved an exception offering a formidable challenge in finishing second to Railways in the women's team championship. Among men, veteran K. Shankar deserves praise for winning the 5000 and 10000 metres. But the cynosure of all eyes was the 17-year old Sangeetha in high jump. She came close to take the meet record of 1.81m by Bobby Aloysius, who was among the contestants. Sangeetha won the gold at 1.75m while Bobby, who returned after a long stint in Moscow, withdrew at 1.72m. More is likely to be heard of Sangeetha, a student of SBOA High School in Chennai.

Conducted by the Major Ports Sports Control Board with assistance from the Tamil Nadu State Amateur Athletics Association, headed by Walter I. Dawaram, and the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, the competition went through without a hitch, and probably was the best technically organised meet in recent times. The foul start indicator was a new contraption used during the competitions which put to full use the sophisticated equipment bought during the SAF Games in 1995.

The results:Men:

100m: 1. Anil Kumar (Ser) 10.37 NMR; 2. Anand Menezes (Rlys) 10.59; 3. Ajayraj Singh (Police) 10.64.

200m: 1. Anil Kumar (Ser) 21.20; 2. Anand Menezes (Rlys) 21.31; 3. Ajayraj Singh (Police) 21.39.

400m: 1. K. J. Manojlal (Rlys) 46.46; 2. P. Ramachandran (TN) 46.85; 3. Anil Kumar Rohil (Ser) 47.28.

800m: 1. K. M. Binu (Rlys) 1:47.80 PB; 2. P. S. Primesh (Steel Plant) 1:48.49 PB; 3. P. J.Robin (Ker) 1:49.94.

1,500m: 1. T. M. Sanjeev (Police) 3:51.96; 2. Kuldeep Kumar (U.P.) 3:52.52; 3. Shivanand (Rlys) 3:53.06.

5,000m: 1. K. Shankar (TN) 14:22.4; 2. Gojan Singh (Police) 14:28.2; 3. Jagannath (Ser) 14:37.7.

10,000m: 1. K. Shankar (TN) 30:43.8; 2. Jagannath (Ser) 30:46.2; 3. B. S. Lone (Rlys) 30:51.6.

110m hurdles: 1. Gurpreet Singh (Rlys) 14.18 NMR; 2. P. T. Yesudoss (Rlys) 14.54; 3. Ashok Chalia (Rlys) 14.76.

400m hurdles: 1. Gurpreet Singh (Rlys) 51.8 PB; 2. K. P. Visakamani (Rlys) 52.4; 3. Ravindra Mahamuni (Mah) 52.6.

3,000m steeplechase: 1. Arun D'Souza (Rlys) 9:03.82; 2. Rajesh Kumar (Ser) 9:06.44; 3. Ranjan Kumar Jha (Ser) 9:13.48.

High jump: 1. M. Loranse (Ser) 2.15 PB; 2. Omveer Singh (Rlys) 2.13 PB; 3. Arumugam Pillai (Rlys) 2.06.

Pole vault: 1. Ramdhari Singh (Ser) 4.75; 2. V. V. Geesh Kumar (Police) 4.75; 3. Jitender Kumar (U.P.) 4.70.

Long jump: 1. Sanjay Kumar Rai (Rlys) 8.02w; 2. S. George (Ser) 7.66 PB; 3. Amrit Pal (Pun) 7.58.

Triple jump: 1. Sanjay Kumar Rai (Rlys) 16.23 NMR, PB; 2. Pritpal Singh (Police) 16.02 BPR; 3. Maha Singh (Pun) 15.47.

Shot put: 1. Bahadur Singh (Police) 19.29; 2. Avtar Singh (Rlys) 18.16; 3. Navpreet Singh (Pun) 18.01.

Discus throw: 1. Anil Kumar (Har) 53.51; 2. Hridayanand (Police) 53.03; 3. Amarjit Singh (Pun) 51.42.

Hammer throw: 1. Pramod Kumar Tiwari (U.P.) 70.05 NMR, PB; 2. Virender Poonia (Rlys) 62.40; 3. Nirbhay Singh (Ser) 62.11.

Javelin throw: 1. Jagdish Bishnoi (Police) 76.74; 2. Omprakash Dudi (Rlys) 74.88; 3. Sunil Goswami (LIC) 73.58 PB.

Decathlon: 1. Kulwinder Singh (Ser) 6,792; 2. Mandeep Singh (Rlys) 6,639; 3. Dharampal (Police) 6,575.

20,000m walk: 1. Gurdev Singh (Ser) 1::35:32.4; 2. Sita Ram (Ser) 1::35:33.2; 3. Jagga Singh (Pun) 1::43:52.6.

4x100m relay: 1. Railways 40.30 NMR; 2. Police 41.15; 3. Services 41.30.

4x400m relay: 1. Services 3:10.04; 2. Railways 3:13.47; 3. Tamil Nadu 3:17.32.


100m: 1. Kavita Pandya (Rlys) 11.90; 2. Saraswati Dey (Rlys) 11.94; 3. V. Jayalakshmi (TN) 12.01.

200m: 1. Kavita Pandya (Rlys) 24.28; 2. Mukti Saha (Rlys) 24.44; 3. V. Jayalakshmi (TN) 24.48.

400m: 1. K. M. Beenamol (Rlys) 53.04; 2. Rajinder Kaur (Pun) 54.11; 3. C. Latha (TN) 54.47.

800m: 1. C. Latha (TN) 2:06.37; 2. Sunitha (Rlys) 2:06.56 PB; 3. N. Tharani (TN) 2:06.39 PB.

1,500m: 1. Sunitha (Rlys) 4:30.67; 2. Harjeet Kaur (Pun) 4:31.13; 3. Simimol Paulose (Ker) 4:31.32.

5,000m: 1. Madhuri Gurnule (LIC) 17:03.75; 2. Vanita (HP) 17:20.10; 3. Pushpa Devi (Police) 17:25.14.

10,000m: 1. Madhuri Gurnule (LIC) 36:24.5; 2. L. Aruna Devi (Rlys) 37:01.9; 3. Asha Rani (Pun) 38:07.7.

100m hurdles: 1. Anuradha Biswal (Ori) 13.95; 2. Mukti Saha (Rlys) 14.38; 3. G. G. Pramila (Rlys) 14.46.

400m hurdles: 1. Sahebani Oram (Rlys) 59.12 PB; 2. Babita(U.P.) 1:00.46; 3. Roseline Arokiamary (TN) 1:01.29.

High jump: 1. M. Sangeetha (TN) 1.75 PB; 2. Sahana Kumari (Kar) 1.75 PB; 3. Bobby Aloysius (Ker) 1.72.

Pole vault: 1. Karamjeet Kaur (Pun) 3.00; 2. V. S. Surekha (TN) 2.70 PB; 3. Pushpavathy (Rlys) 2.40 PB.

Long jump: 1. G. G. Pramila (Rlys) 6.43 NMR; 2. Anisha K. Vijayan (Ker) 6.13 PB; 3. Jetty C. Joseph (LIC) 6.06.

Triple jump: 1. Lekha Roy (TN) 12.63; 2. Kalpana Das (Rlys) 12.56; 3. Manisha Dey (Rlys) 12.39.

Shot put: 1. N. Latha (Rlys) 15.31; 2. Harwant Kaur (Jharkand) 15.21; 3. Chaiteli Paul (Rlys) 14.78.

Discus throw: 1. Neelam J. Singh (Rlys) 58.80; 2. Harwant Kaur (Jharkand) 57.93 PB; 3. Sugan Yadav (Rlys) 52.37.

Hammer throw: 1. Hardeep Kaur (LIC) 58.31; 2. Rajwinder Kaur (Police) 53.87 PB; 3. Phoolpati (Police) 48.09.

Javelin throw: 1. Manisha Mondal (Rlys) 47.25; 2. Suman Devi (U.P.) 46.98; 3. N. M. Hemalatha (Rlys) 46.81.

Heptathlon: 1. Soma Biswas (Rlys) 5,739 NMR; 2. Udayalakshmi (Rlys) 5,078 PB; 3. J. J. Shoba (Rlys) 4,660.

20,000m walk: 1. Jasmin Kaur (Pun) 1::51:14.2; 2. Bala Devi (Rlys) 2::00:40.3; 3. Sulochana (Rlys) 2::08:48.0.

4x100m relay; 1. Railways 46.57; 2. Tamil Nadu 47.42; 3. Punjab 48.29.

4x400m relay: 1. Railways 3:39.3; 2. Tamil Nadu 3:43.4; 3. Punjab 3:48.4.

Team championships:Men: 1. Railways 148; 2. Services 107.Women: 1. Railways 176; 2. Tamil Nadu 66.

NMR - New Meet Record; BPR - Bettered Previous Record; W - Wind-assisted mark; PB - Personal Best.

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