Back with a bang

AVINASH NAIR

BOBBY ALOYSIUS made the 42nd Inter-State athletics Championship, held at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, memorable. She set a national record in the high jump. The AAFI announced that the performance at the Federation Cup in Chennai will be the criteria for selecting the contingent for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, the Asian Championship at Colombo and the Asian Games at Pusan - all scheduled later this year. This kept the prominent athletes away from the Bangalore meet. But then the likes of Anju George and Bobby Aloysius and a few noted athletes like V. S. Surekha, Sahebani Oram, Prithipal Singh, Omveer Singh and Satbir Singh came up with some telling performances. Sunita Rani's return to competitive athletics, after injury which sidelined her for two and years and three months, did evoke a lot of interest.

Bobby Aloysius sails over the bar to win the high jump gold with a national record to boot.-K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Satbir ran a perfect race in the one-lapper, with a time of 45.84 seconds, to join the select band of Milkha Singh, C. Ramachandran and Paramjit Singh to run a sub-46.0 seconds in the 400 metres. However, the Haryana lad's effort fell just short of Paramjit Singh's National mark of 45.56 seconds set in the inter-State meet at Chennai in 2000. Paramjit was pushed to the second spot.

A heavy downpour towards the evening forced an abrupt end to the first day's proceedings. But Anju took the spotlight on the second day, with a record breaking effort in the triple jump. Skipping the long jump event, Anju put her best effort in the hop, step and jump and with her very first try obliterated Lekha Thomas' 1998 record of 13.23 metres clearing 13.54 metres. "I did not hit the board or otherwise it could have been a National mark, (incidentally the National mark of 13.61 metres stands in her name)," said the talented Chennai Customs Officer. A series of 13 plus jumps was all that Anju managed thereafter, but the competition in the absence of Pramila Aiyappa, who was down with jaundice, was mediocre.

Anju B. George won the triple jump with a meet record.-K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

If Anju's heroics fell short of a National record, another Chennai based Customs Officer would have nothing less. Bobby Aloysius won a standing ovation when she sailed over the bar, at 1.90 metres, in the high jump event.

Bobby, who has been training in Moscow for about three to four months in the last two seasons, attributed her success and record due to her stint abroad. "But for my training in Moscow I could not have achieved this. For my stature and speed, about 1.85 metres is what I can do, this extra effort was purely possible due to the technique that was improved upon at Moscow," said the Kerala girl. It may be recalled that Bobby left in tears after a technical hitch denied her a record at Bangalore, two seasons ago.

If Prithipal Singh did equal the meet record with a jump of 16.18 metres in the triple jump so did Rajasthan's Omveer Singh in the high jump on the second day. Omveer cleared 2.12.

Prithipal equalled the long standing record of Suresh Babu. His teammate Amarjit Singh also managed a 16 plus jump for the second place.

Tamil Nadu's V. S. Surekha emerged the pole vault champion with a 3.18m in the absence of Karamjit Kaur. It was a new meet record. Orissa's Sahebani Oram ran a fine race in the 400m hurdles to clock 57.70 seconds equalling P. T. Usha's 17-year-old mark in the process.

Soma Biswas recorded 5851 points and won the gold in heptathlon.

Satbir Singh (107) winning the 400m.-K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

The results: Men

100m: 1. Amit Saha (WB) 10.62s, 2. Clifford Joshua (Kar) 10.66s, 3. Anand Menezes (Mah) 10.73s.

200m: 1. Clifford Joshua (Kar) 21.19s, 2. Amit Saha (WB) 21.57s, 3. Parmeshwar (Kar) 21.77s.

400m: 1. Satbir Singh (Har) 45.84s, 2. Paramjit Singh (Pun) 46.18s, 3. Anil Kumar (Raj) 46.64s.

800m: 1. P. S Primesh (Ker) 1:50.25s, 2. Jaya Kumar (Ker) 1:50.57s, 3. Raj Karan (MP) 1:50.85s.

1500m: 1. T. M. Sajeev (Ker) 3:50.05s, 2. B. B. Manjunath (Kar) 3:51.08s, 3. R. Suresh (TN) 3:57.92s.

5000m: 1. Gojen Singh (Mani) 14:24.31s, 2. Jaganath Lakade (Mah) 14:54.07s, 3. Narendra Rao (TN) 15:03.89s.

Omveer Singh equalled the meet record in high jump.-K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

10,000m: 1. Gojen Singh (Mani) 30:53.3s, 2. Jaganath Lakade (Mah) 31:09.5s, 3. Mahendra Rao (TN) 31:42.7s.

3000m steeplechase: 1. Arun D'Souza (Kar) 9:01.22s, 2. Ranjan Jha (Bih) 9:09.66s, 3. R. Suresh (TN) 9:21.26s.

110m hurdles: 1. Harish Kushalappa (Kar) 14.96s, 2. P. T. Yesudas (Kar) 15.24s, 3. A. Avinash (TN) 15.27s.

400m Hurdles: 1. Abhishek Pandey (UP) 52.54s, 2. P. S. Pahi (Jhark) 53.40s, 3. P. Shankar (AP) 53.41s.

20 kms walk: 1. Gurdev Singh (Pun) 1hr 30:07.0s, 2. Sitaram (Raj) 1hr 32:45.30s, 3. Gurmeet Singh (Pun) 1hr 33:20.90s.

High jump: 1. Omveer Singh (Raj) 2.12m (EMR), 2. Harishankar (WB) 21.12m, 3. Roshan K. R (Ker) 2.09m.

Long jump: 1. Satish Kumar (Del) 7.12m, 2. Venugopal (AP) 7.06m, 3. Manoj Thomas (Ker) 7.04m.

Triple jump: 1. Pritipal Singh (Pun) 16.18m (EMR), 2. Amarjit Singh (Pun) 16.01m, 3. Robin M Verghese (Ker) 15.19m.

Pole vault: 1. Jitender Sharma (UP) 4.77m, 2. Geesh Kumar (Ker) 4.60m, 3. Subash Chandra Yadav (UP) 4.50m.

Shot put: 1. Shakti Singh (Har) 19.79m, 2. Navpreet Singh (Jharkhand) 19.45m, 3. Bahadur Singh (Pun) 19.43m.

Discus: 1. Hridayanand (UP) 57.55m, 2. Sukvir Singh (Pun) 51.53m, 3. Naresh Kuamr (Raj) 51.31m.

Hammer: 1. Pramod Tiwari (AP) 64.39m, 2. Nirbhay Singh (Del) 63.59m, 3. Rakesh Kumar (UP) 63.28m.

Javelin: 1. Harminder Singh (Pun) 75.95m, 2. Jagdish Bishnoi (Pun) 73.76m, 3. Sunil Goswami (Del) 72.90m.

Decathlon: 1. Mandeep Singh (Del) 6530 pts, 2. Harinder Singh (Pun) 6051 pts, 3. Ananthapadmanabhan (Kar) 6028.

4x100m relay: 1. Karnataka 41.60s, 2. Andhra Pradesh 41.84s, 3. Kerala 42.20s.

4x400m relay: 1. Kerala 3:09.52s, 2. Tamil Nadu 3:16.08s, 3. Karnataka 3:16.41s.

Women

100m: 1. Poonam Tomar (Del) 11.89s, 2. V. Jayalakshmi (TN) 12.09s, 3. Mandeep Kaur (Pun) 12.25s.

200m: 1. V. Jayalakshmi (TN) 24.12s, 2. Mukti Saha (WB) 24.39s, 3. Sagardeep Kaur (Pun) 24.40s.

400m: 1. Jincy Philip (Ker) 53.15s, 2. Sunitha Dahiya (har) 54.34s, 3. Mukti Saha (WB) 54.73s.

800m: 1. Sunita Dahiya (Har) 2:07.45s, 2. Harjit Kaur (Pun) 2:08.60s, 3. Ramla Devi (Pun) 2:09.39s.

1500m: 1. B. Hemalatha (Kar) 4:35.25s, 2. Harjit Kaur (Pun) 4:35.43s, 3. Swati Gurnule (Maha) 4:35.73s.

5000m: 1. Sunita Rani (Pun) 16:00.28s, 2. L. Aruna Devi (WB) 16:49.72s, 3. Beant Kaur (Pun) 16:56.32s.

10,000m: 1. Beant Kaur (Pun) 35:17.1s, 2. Pushpa (Del) 35:41.0s, 3. Pampa Chanda (WB) 36:54.0s.

100m hurdles: 1. K. N. Priya (TN) 14.38s, 2. Shamalamol K. A (Ker) 14.91s, 3. Ruta Patkar (Mah) 15.18s.

400m Hurdles: 1. Sahebani Oram (Ori) 57.70s (EMR), 2. Rosalyn Arokia Mary (TN) 59.01s, 3. Udayalakshmi (AP) 1:04.30s.

20 kms walk: 1. Y. Bala Devi (WB) 1hr. 47:18.4s, 2. Jasmine Kaur (Pun) 1hr. 50:55.5s, 3. L. Deepmala Devi (Mani) 1hr.57:56.0s.

High jump: 1. Bobby Aloysius (Ker) 1.90m (National Record), 2. Sahana Kumari (Kar) 1.73m, 3. Seena John (Ker) 1.65m.

Long jump: 1. Jetty C Joseph (Ker) 5.92m, 2. Kalpana Das (WB) 5.76m, 3. Anisha K. Vijayan (Ker) 5.72m.

Triple jump: 1. Anju B George (TN) 13.54m (NMR), 2. Manisha Dey (WB) 12.76m, 3. Krishna Priya (TN) 12.56m.

Pole vault: 1. V. S. Surekha (TN) 3.18m (NMR), 2. Deepa Choudhary (Del) 2.80m, 3. Jaswant Kaur (Pun) 2.50m.

Shot put: 1. Harwant Kaur (Pun) 15.75m, 2. Pramila Bharu (Assam) 11.51m, 3. B. N. Sumavathi (Kar) 10.81m.

Discus: 1. Neelam J. Singh (AP) 61.47m, 2. Seema Antil (Har) 58.63m, 3. Harwant Kaur (Pun) 58.56m.

Javelin: 1. Gurupreet Kaur (Har) 47.35m, 2. Suman Devi (UP) 47.21m, 3. Manish Mondal (WB) 47.0m.

Hammer: 1. Rajwinder Kaur (Pun) 53.34m, 2. Alka Pandey (UP) 48.81m, 3. Archana Bora (Bih) 45.53m.

4x100m relay: 1. Tamil Nadu 46.04s, 2. Punjab 47.36s, 3. Kerala 47.39s.

4x400m relay: Kerala 3:43.47s, 2. Tamil Nadu 3:48.79s, Karnataka 4:02.71s.

Heptathlon: 1. Soma Biswas (WB) 5851 pts, 2. J. J. Shobha (AP) 5838, 3. P. Bindu (WB) 4859.

Team championship:

Men: 1. Karnataka 73 pts, 2. Punjab 69, 3. Kerala 53.

Women: 1. Tamil Nadu & Punjab tied with 81 pts each), 2. Kerala 60.

Best athletes: Men: Satbir Singh (Har). Women: Bobby Aloysius (Ker).

THE 23-year-old Sunita Rani, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Punjab Police, was back after two years and three months. She suffered a stress fracture during the Federation Cup at Lucknow in March 2000. But the promising Indian runner has lost none of her winning ways. "If I had not won the race or finished within the expected time of 16:15.0 seconds in the 5000 metres, I would have returned home," said Sunita.

Coach Renu Kohli, however, knew her pupil better. "I was confident of her success and her time. Although I did give a tentative time of 6:15.00 seconds for her to complete the race, Sunita exceeded my expectations and did it in 16:00.28 seconds which is very impressive given the fact that she was out of competitive athletics for over two years," said Kohli.

It was during the circuit meet in early May that Sunita expressed her desire to return to the tracks. "I shall be back in time for the Inter State in Bangalore or at least for the Federation Cup in Chennai. I won't hurry too much with a busy international schedule ahead," said the middle distance ace.

On June 3, the third day of the 42nd Inter-State championship, Sunita looked tense and understandably so. Her ardent followers turned up early just to see this runner take the start with 10 others.

"I could not sleep a wink the previous night and the butterflies in my stomach subsided only after I saw the time on completing the event," said a much relieved Sunita after her event. "I experienced no pain and in fact felt a lot better. And the congratulations and back-pats that came my way from my well wishers and the athletics fraternity on the whole has only motivated me further. I will be back to full potential shortly as my previous best of 15:41.81 seconds is well within my reach. From here it will only improve". However, Sunita's concentration is on the Pusan Asian Games. "I may not consider the Commonwealth Games in Manchester (in July) and the Asian Championship at Colombo (August), but will be ready for the Asian Games," she said. The Federation Games at Chennai later this month will be the testing ground for her.