Hamza, Jaisha adjudged best

C. Hamza.-R. RAGU

Overall, the usual spark was missing from the championship. One could argue about the scheduling, the worn-out track and rain that poured on all days. Still three new records were achieved on the track, all by the distance performers. Kirti Patil reports.

Asian champions Renjith Maheswary and Sinimole Paulose, and silver medallist Preeja Sreedharan were the biggest draws at the 47th National Inter-State athletics championships in Bhopal, but the vagaries of the sport saw them losing on the stage they were expected to dominate.

At the fag end of the season, especially after the international season virtually ended with the Osaka World Championship, the athletes were forced to perform, as the domestic calendar was still a long way from finish.

“I haven’t got rest for a long time and it reflected in my performance here,” Maheswary said after he lost the triple jump title to Amarjeet Singh.

“It is difficult to exert so much after a long season,” he added. The jumper is among the only three athletes who have so far qualified for next year’s Olympics in Beijing. “I plan to start training for Olympics from November, but before that I would not like to exert,” Maheswary said. The distance runners Sinimole and Preeja though had different takes on their losses.

“I cannot win every time I run, but she ran a good race and has potential to make it big,” was how Sinimole explained her loss to A. Vijila in the 800 metres.

Sinimole kept her calm for her favourite event, the 1500m, in which she is the Asian champion. But then she was outpaced by Doha Asian Games bronze medallist O. P. Jaisha. In a race that Sinimole led from the start, Jaisha overtook her at the beginning of the final lap. The two exchanged lead thrice before Jaisha stunned Sinimole 20 metres from the finish line.

Jaisha enjoyed to the hilt her comeback from injury. The Kerala woman was adjudged the ‘best woman athlete’ of the meet. That she beat Preeja in the 5000m race is another story.

An ugly tug-of-war has already begun between Jharkhand and the other States that possess the best athletes. Jharkhand, the host of the next National Games, has been wooing the best talent to its fold.

Preeja apparently fell victim to the tussle and much of her time was spent sorting out the affiliation issues.

In fact, the matter was so glaring that the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) intervened and decreed that Jharkhand would have to present NOCs from the parent States for all the ‘borrowed’ athletes. There were several cases of dual entries, from Preeja to Sajeesh Joseph — both ran for Kerala after Jharkhand failed to produce the requisite papers. In that respect, Preeja’s case was unique.

Jharkhand had entered her for three events, 1500m, 5000m and 10000m. Kerala listed her for 5000m only. As she was forced to run for Kerala in the 5000m, Jharkhand conveniently withdrew Preeja’s name from 10000m to avoid the proposed fine imposed by the AFI to arrest ‘dual entries’.

At the start of the 10000m, Preeja was on the track but her name was obviously missing. Technical officials deliberated at length before she was allowed to run.


Overall, the usual spark was missing from the championship. One could argue about the scheduling, the worn-out track and rain that poured on all days. Still three new records were achieved on the track, all by the distance performers. In the field, only jumpers managed to scale new heights as the throwers returned with abysmal performances.

Babubhai Panucha claimed the lone National record when he won the 20000m walk in 1 hour 25.09 minutes and 36 seconds. His effort bettered the seven-year-old record of Punjab’s Gurdev Singh (1:25:21.70) in the Chennai National Inter-State meet.

Distance runner Surender Singh of Uttarakhand completed a commendable double by winning the 5000m and 10000m events with new meet records.

The best performance in terms of quality came from high jumper Hari Sankar Roy. The National record holder tried to challenge his own mark of 2.25m set in Singapore in 2004, but settled for a new meet record at 2.22 metres.

Gajanan Upadhyay sailed over five metres in the men’s pole vault to set a new meet record, bettering his own set two year ago.

In this context, women athletes failed to better any marks. If the runners failed on the wet track, what stopped the throwers from achieving was a big question.

Seema Antil carried her indifferent form to Bhopal and finished behind Saroj Sihag in discus with a miserable throw of 52.08 metres. Seema’s apparent poor form had forced her to skip the Asian Championship before she withdrew from the World Championships citing illness.

“I am still recovering,” was Seema’s stock reply.

Shot putter Saurabh Vij came up with three foul throws and bowed out when he was the clear favourite in the absence of the Asian champion Navpreet Singh.


100m: 1. Arunjith S. (Ker) 10.76s, 2. Jagdish Basak (Asm) 10.78, 3. B. G. Nagraj (Jhar) 10.79. 200m: 1. B. G. Nagraj (Jhar) 21.51s, 2. Arunjith S. (Ker) 21.53, 3. Ajay Kumar (Har) 21.69.

400m: 1. Mohammed Naseem KM (Cht) 46.94s, 2. Virendra Kumar Pankaj (UP) 46.99, 3. S. K. Mortaja (Jhar) 47.02. 800m: Sajeesh Joseph (Ker) 1:48.93s, 2. R. Rajeev (Ker) 1:49.36, 3. Prakash Varma (Del) 1:51.50.

1500m: 1. C. Hamza (Ker) 3:40.40s, 2. Sajeesh Joseph (Ker) 3:44.50, 3. Ravinder (Del) 3:47.06. 5000m: 1. Surender Singh (Utr) 13:55.71 (NMR, old 13:59.46), 2. Kashinath Aswale (Jhar) 14:05.76, 3. Sunil Kumar (Jhar) 14:14.34.

10000m: 1. Surender Singh (Utr) 29:06.17 (NMR, old 29:26.00), 2. Kashinath Aswale (Jhar) 29:42.23, 3. Sandeep Batham (Del) 30:08.04.

3000m steeplechase: 1. Om Prakash (MP) 8:58.43s, 2. Ilam Singh (Jhar) 9:00.29, 3. Bhagwan Diwakar Giri (Jhar) 9:18.63.

110m hurdles: 1. Naunidh Singh (Pun) 14.23s, 2. Manjunath Godi (Jhar) 14.29, 3. Rohit Haval (Jhar) 14.46.

400m hurdles: 1. Joseph Abraham (Ker) 51.03s, 2. Patlavath Shankar (AP) 51.47, 3. Shejil Verghese (Ker) 51.91.

High jump: 1. Hari Sankar Roy (Jhar) 2.22m (NMR, old 2.18), 2. Vinodkumar Chahan (Guj) 2.14, 3. B. Elangumaran (TN) 2.11.

Long jump: 1. Shamsher Pratap Singh (Pun) 7.45m, 2. Pushpinder Singh (UP) 7.24, 3. Bharatender Singh (Har) 7.22. Triple jump: 1. Amarjeet Singh (Jhar) 16.36m, 2. Renjith Maheswary (Ker) 16.35, 3. Saurabh Singh (UP) 15.54.

Pole vault: 1. Gajanan Upadhyay (Jhar) 5.05m (NMR, old 4.95), 2. Naveen Kumar (Har) 4.70, 3. Bimin K. P. (Ker) 4.70. Shot put: 1. Satyendra Kumar (Jhar) 17.94m, 2. Om Prakash (Har) 17.83, 3. Amit Tyagi (Guj) 16.30.

Discus: 1. Simarjit Singh (Pun) 49.60m, 2. Amardeep Singh (Pun) 49.35, 3. Rambir (Jhar) 48.94.

Hammer throw: 1. Nirbhay Singh (UP) 63.46m, 2. Harinder Singh (Pun) 62.06, 3. Yogesh Kumar (Mah) 61.89.

Javelin: 1. Om Narayan (Har) 73.76m, 2. Arun Kumar Patel (UP) 71.64, 3. Anil Kumar (Har) 71.57.

Decathlon: 1. P. J. Vinod (Ker) 6833 pts, 2. Bhupendra Singh (Jhar) 6618, 3. Vinoth Kumar (Del) 6241.

4x100m relay: 1. Tamil Nadu 41.70s, 2. Jharkhand 41.71, 3. Kerala 41.78.

4x400m relay: 1. Chhattisgarh 3:15.98, 2. Uttar Pradesh 3:16.12, 3. Tamil Nadu 3:16.38.

20000m walk: 1. Babubhai Panocha (Guj) 1::25:09.36s, NR (old 1:25:21.70), 2. P. S. Jalan (Ker) 1::27:14.06, 3. Sumendro Singh (MP) 1::30:49.53.


100m: 1. Poonam Tomar (Del) 11.85s, 2. Ranjita Roy (Ben) 12.15, 3. Gowramma G. D. (Kar) 12.20. 200m: 1. K. Kasthuri (TN) 25.10s, 2. Ranjita Roy (Ben) 25.11, 3. Bindhu B. (Ker) 25.39.

400m: 1. Sutapa Das (Ben) 55.61s, 2. Pooja Jakhar (Del) 55.66, 3. Sabina Khatun (Ben) 56.55. 800m: 1. A. Vijila (Ker) 2:06.61s, 2. Sinimole Paulose (Jhar) 2:06.99, 3. Tintu Luka (Ker) 2:09.19.

1500m: 1. O. P. Jaisha (Ker) 4:15.71, 2. Sinimole Paulose (Jhar) 4:16.22, 3. Bindhu S. R. (Ker) 4:31.00. 5000m: 1. O. P. Jaisha (Ker) 16:21.06, 2. Preeja Sreedharan (Ker) 16:25.31, 3. Kavita Raut (Mah) 16:27.77. 10000m: 1. Kavita Raut (Mah) 34:23.80 (NMR, old 34:30.20), 2. Preeja Sreedharan (Ker) 34:24.57, 3. Preethi Rao (Jhar) 37:16.10. 3000m steeplechase: 1. Kiran Tiwari (Utr) 11:36.68, 2. Geeta Rani (Del) 11:40.47.

100m hurdles: 1. Poonam Bojanna (Kar) 14.28s, 2. J. J. Shobha (AP) 15.00, 3. Kranti Maurya (UP) 16.42. 400m hurdles: 1. Pooja Jhakhar (Del) 1:01.11, 2. Sutapa Das (Ben) 1:01.97, 3. Shalin Joseph (Ker) 1:02.17.

High jump: 1. Sahana Kumari (Jhar) 1.79m, 2. Maryan C. Thariyan (Del) 1.76, 3. Kavya Muthanna (Kar) 1.70.

Long jump: 1. M. A. Prajusha (Ker) 6.22m, 2. Resmi Bose (Ker) 6.18, 3. Mayookha Johny (Ker) 6.14. Triple jump: 1. Mayookha Johny (Ker) 12.99m, 2. M. A. Prajusha (Ker) 12.87, 3. Tessymol Joseph (Ker) 12.70.

Pole vault: 1. V. S. Sureka (TN) 3.70m, 2. Chetna Solanki (Jhar) 3.60, 3. N. Madhusini Devi (Jhar) 3.40.

Shot put: 1. Saroj Sihag (Har) 15.24m, 2. Seema Antil (Har) 14.44, 3. Neelam (Har) 13.16.

Discus: 1. Saroj Sihag (Har) 52.37m, 2. Seema Antil (Har) 52.08, 3. Baljit Kaur (Pun) 46.93.

Hammer throw: 1. Phoolwati (Har) 50.62m, 2. Vipin Kumari (Del) 49.57, 3. Sukanya Mishra (UP) 46.82. Javelin: 1. Sanjo Devi (HP) 43.65m, 2. Sonu (Har) 42.72, 3. Alpesh Kumari (Har) 41.86.

Heptathlon: 1. Pramila Aiyappa (Jhar) 5374 pts, 2. Sinimol P. (Ker) 4968.

4x400m relay: 1. Kerala 3:46.04, 2. Jharkhand 3:51.65, 3. Bengal 4:02.20.

20000m walk: 1. Y. Bala Devi (Ben) 1::49:13.19s, 2. W. Lamnganbi Devi (Man) 2::01:47.85, 3. Ibemcha Devi (Man) 2::02:42.42.

Best athlete:

Men: C. Hamza (Ker, 1500m) 1101 pts. Women: O. P. Jaisha (Ker, 1500m) 1082 pts.