Not a great show

The 9th Federation Cup athletic championship sponsored by Mihira Net Co. provided a mixed bag for athletics fans.

ABHIJIT SEN GUPTA

The 9th Federation Cup athletic championship sponsored by Mihira Net Co. provided a mixed bag for athletics fans. The absence of many of India's top internationals robbed the meet of most of its glamour and attraction. On the first day not even a single record was broken, but on the second and third days a few records did enter the books. Thanks to these performances, the championship acquired at least a semblance of competiveness and class. Perhaps if more big names had been present, the level of competition would have been higher and the timings and distances would have been better.

Karamjit Kaur came up with a National record in pole vault. -- Pic. RAMESH BABU-

Most of the athletes present stated that they were not ready to peak yet since they were aiming at the Asian meet to be held n Manila in September. Except for high jumper Bobby Aloysius no one else seemed to be even making any effort to meet the qualifying norms for the world championship to be held in Paris.

Among those present at Hyderabad, discuss thrower Neelam J. Singh has already met the qualifying mark but put up a modest performance here. She stated that she was nursing a painful shoulder which had prevented her from going all out. Bobby Aloysius tried her best to meet the qualifying mark of 1.92m but sadly for her, she fell short by three centimetres. However, she did create a new met record and established herself as a jumper in a class of her own within the country.

Although her failure to attain the coveted mark must have come as a disappointment for Bobby, she took it in her stride. Perhaps it was not entirely unexpected since she is in the middle of changing her technique and it will take sometime for her to master the new technique and post better results. She said that most coaches in India followed obsolete training methods and therefore she had decided to train abroad. She would concentrate on improving her technique for this was the only method now for her to soar to greater heights.

Kuldip Kumar, the Best individual Athelete in the men's section - Pic. RAMESH BABU-

Even amongst those who won medals here, several stated that they had been able to do so due to lack of competition. Some said that they had not expected to get any medal but had come to Hyderabad with the intention of giving their best efflort. But as it turned out, due to lack of opposition, they picked up medals. A poor state of affairs indeed! Long distance running plumbed new depths. In the men's 10,000m the winner's time was slower than those registered by 23 women runners in Asia last year! The AAFI would do well to come up with plans to ensure that big stars do not bypass important meets such as the Federation Cup in future.

However, some good performances also were seen and thanks to the efforts of these athletes there was something noteworthy in the meet. Pole vaulter Karamjit Kaur of Punjab Police erased the national mark by clearing 3.50m. The old record was hers at 3.45m set in 2002. U. Bala Devi of Bengal also set a national mark in the women's 20km walk. The previous record holder Jasmine Kaur of Punjab Police also did better than her previous record but had to be content with second spot, behind Bala Devi.

Apart from these two national records, seven meet records were also broken. Three athletes bagged double golds. They were middle distance ace Madhuri A. Singh who won the 1500 and the 800m, heptathlete J. J. Shobha who won her pet event and also the long jump, and Kuldip Kumar (Best Athlete among the men), who won the 1500m and the 5000m golds. Their wholehearted efforts provided the silver lining to the meet which otherwise would have been a very forgettable one!

Bobby Aloysius, the best individual Athelete inthe women's section. -- Pic. K. RAMESH BABU-

Of late there has been a hue and cry about athletes who are using drugs to improve performances. There has been some effort to check such malpractices. But at the Hyderabad meet, out of the approximately 600 athletes who took part, only five were asked to provide samples for testing. The shortage of kits was said to be the reason for this. No doubt dope testing can be quite an expensive affair but this is something the AAFI needs to address very seriously and this is a hurdle that will have to be surmounted if the whole exercise has to retain any effectiveness or relevance.

It was surprising that during the Hyderabad National Games testing was carried out so extensively while it was not so at the Federation Cup. After all there is little at stake during any national games except for the prestige of the State. But the Federation Cup was supposed to be one of the meets which were to serve as a qualifying meet for world championships. So ideally speaking dope testing should have been more stringent at the Federation Cup.

The results: Men:

1500m: 1. Kuldip Kumar (UP) 3m 50.63s, 2. Pritam Bind (Uttaranchal) 3m 52.73s, 3. Sunil Kumar (Haryana) 3m 52.96s; 100m: 1. Sandeep Sarkaria (Delhi) 10.51 s., 2. Sanjay Ghosh (Army) 10.52s, 3. Piyush Kumar (Delhi) 10.61s; Shot Put: 1. Jaiveer Singh (Army) 18.30m, 2. Kulwinder Singh (Punjab Police) 17.88s, 3. Malkhan Singh (Haryana) 17.62s; 10,000m: 1. I. A. Shivanand (AP) 32m 31.32 s, 2. Baliram Disale (Maharashtra) 32m 33.94s, 3. Soji Mathew (Kerala) 32m 34.93s; Javelin throw: 1. Fazal Ansari (Army) 75.07, 2. Ramandeep Singh (Punjab Police) 73.96s, 3. Lijesh Kumar (Army) 73.29s; 20km walk: 1. Gurudev Singh (Army) 1h 31m 33.9s, 2. Sita Ram (Army) 1h 31m 50.6s, 3. Gurmeet Singh (Punjab Police) 1 33h 49.2s; High jump: 1. Banetic Stanley (TN) 2.11m (EMR), 2. Harishankar Roy (West Bengal) 2.08m, 3. Vinod Kumar (Delhi) and K. R. Roshan (Ker) joint third — 2.08m; 400m: 1. Manoj Lal K. J. (Kerala) 46.84s; 2. Satbir Singh (Army) 47.5919s, 3. Anil Kumar Rohil (Army) 47.5962s; 110m hurdles: 1. Naunidh Singh (BSF) 14.21s (NMR) (OR 14.44 by Gurpreet Singh, 1999), 2. K. Krishnamohan (Army) 14.54s, 3. Prasad Reddy (Army) 14.64s; Long jump: 1. Amritpal Singh (Punjab Police) 7.79m, 2. Wayne Peppin (TN) 7.75m, 3. Venugopal (AP) 7.52m; Discus throw: 1. Devender Singh (Punjab Police) 53.01m, 2. Gurusevak Singh (Punjab Police) 52.88m, 3. Ranbir Singh (Army) 51.97m; 5000m: 1. Kuldip Kumar (UP) 14m 34.06s, 2. Sunil Kumar (Haryana) 14m 57.7s, 3. Pritam Bind (Uttaranchal) 15m 20.64s; Decathlon: 1. Kulwinder Singh (Army) 7140pts, 2. Vinod P. J. (Ker) 6729, 3. Dhananjay Kumar Rai (UP) 6466; Pole vault: 1. Geesh Kumar (Kerala) 4.90m (NMR), 2. Shamsher Singh 4.85m (NMR) (OR 4.80 by Geesh Kumar, Bangalore, 2001), 3. Gajanan Kumar Upadhaya (UP) 4.80m; 400m hurdles: 1. Prasad Reddy (Army) 51.24s (NMR), 2. P.Shankar (AP) 51.53s (NMR) (OR 51.68 by P.Shankar, Chennai, 2002), 3. Ranjodh Singh (PP) 52.09s; Triple jump: 1. Santison K. C. (Army) 15.47m, 2. Shyju (Kerala) 15.46m, 3. Prithpal Singh (PP) 15.36m; Hammer throw: 1. Rajesh Kumar (UP) 66.44m, 2. Nirbhay Singh (Navy) 64.50m, 3. Kulwinder Singh (AAFI) 64.06m; 200m: 1. Anil Kumar (Army) 20.95s, 2. Sanjay Ghosh (Army) 21.02s, 3. Amit Saha (WB) 21.15s; 3000m: steeplechase: 1. Arun D'Souza (AP) 8m 52.21s, 2. Ranjan Kumar Jha (Army) 9m 10.81s, 3. R.Suresh (Army) 9m 16.48s; 800m: 1. P.S.Primesh (Kerala) 1m 49.16s, 2. S.J. Suresh (Army) 1m 51.55s, 3. Narayan Singh (Mah) 1m 52.22s; 4x100 relay: 1. Army 40.95s; 2. Andhra Pradesh 42.01s, 3. Punjab Police 42.23s; 4x400 relay: 1. Army 3m 12.98s, 2. Punjab Police 3m 15.52s, 3. Andhra Pradesh 3m 15.53s.

Best individual athlete: Kuldip Kumar (UP). Team champion: Army.

Women:

1500m: 1. Madhuri A. Singh (AIESCB) 4m 26.18 sec., 2. Hemalatha (Karnataka) 4m 32.98s, 3. S. Santhi (Tamil Nadu) 4m 45.75s; 100m: 1. Rakhi Saha (West Bengal) 12.06s, 2. Mukti Saha (West Bengal) 12.12s, 3. Greeshma K.M. (Kerala) 12.16s; Long jump: 1. J. J. Shobha (AP) 6.23m, 2. Jetty C. Joseph (Kerala) 6.03m, 3. Ruta Patkar (Jharkhand) 5.86m; Discus throw: 1. Neelam J. Singh (Haryana) 58.95m, 2. Harwant Kaur (Punjab Police) 56.88m, 3. Seema Antil (CRPF) 54.59m; 10,000m: 1. L. Aruna Devi (West Bengal) 36m 32.66s, 2. Ashwini Dukander (Maharashtra) 39m 13.93s, 3. Basanti Biswas (West Bengal) 40m 2.39s; Shot put: 1. Archana Mondal (West Bengal) 11.61m, 2. Narinder Kaur (Punjab Police) 11.35m, 3. Manjit Kaur (Punjab Police) 11.12m; 400m: 1. S.Geetha (AP) 53.73s, 2. Mukti Saha (West Bengal) 54.01s, 3. Sagardeep Kaur (Punjab Police) 54.60s;100m hurdles: 1. K. N. Priya (TN) 14.56s. 2. Deepti Vaidya (ONGC) 14.80s, 3. Rajwinder Kaur (Punjab Police) 15.15s; 5000m: 1. Madhuri Gurnule (Maharashtra) 17m 31.93s, 2. L. Manjula (Karnataka) 17m 58.61s, 3. Vanita Thakur (AP) 18m 21.47s; 20 km walk: 1. U. Bala Devi (WB) 1h 43m 6.03s. (NNR), 2. Jasmine Kaur (PP) 1h 46m 19.54s (NNR) (OR 1hr 47m 11.0s by Jasmine Kaur, Lucknow, 2000), 3. Amandeep Kaur (PP) 1h 50 m12.09s; Hammer throw: 1. Ritu Rani (Delhi) 56.20m, 2. Rajwinder Kaur (PP) 54.59m, 3. Hardeep kaur (PP) 46.04m; Triple jump: 1. Manisha Dey (WB) 12.93m, 2. Kalpana Das (WB) 12.43m, 3. K. N. Priya (TN) 12.19m; Pole vault: 1. Karamjit Kaur (PP) 3.50m (NNR) (OR Karamjit Kaur 3.45m, Delhi, 2002), 2. Chetna Solanki (CRPF) 3.45m (ENR), 3. V. S. Surekha (TN) 3.45m (ENR); High jump: 1. Bobby Aloysius (Kerala) 1.89m (NMR) (OR 1.80 by Bobby Aloysius, Chennai 1998), 2. Shana Kumari (Kar) 1.75m, 3. M.Sangeetha (TN) 1.70m; 400m hurdles: 1. Roseline Arokiamary (TN) 1m 0.7s, 2. Rajwinder Kaur (PP) 1m2.33s, 3. Bijimol Chako (Kerala) 1m3.23s; 200m: 1. Manjit Kaur (PP) 23.79s, 2. Mukti Saha (WB) 24.11s, 3. Sagardeep Kaur (PP) 24.33s; 3000m steeplechase: 1. Hemalatha (Kar) 11m 5.67s, 2. Vanitha Thakur (PP) 11m18.63s, 3. Jaswinder Kaur (Pun) 11m 46.87s; Javelin throw: 1. Gurpreet Kaur (Har) 46.46m, 2. Sheeja Mathew (CRPF) 44.80m, 3. N. M. Hemalatha (Kar) 43.72m; 800m: 1. Madhuri A. Singh (AIESCB) 2m 3.70s, 2. Pinki Paramanik (WB) 2m5.15s, S. Santhi (TN) 2m9.44s; Heptathlon: 1. J. J. Shobha (AP) 5758pts, 2. R. Sneha Princy (TN) 4750, 3. Jyothi E. S. (Ker) 3847; 4x100 relay: 1. Andhra Pradesh 46.44s, 2. West Bengal 47.15s, 3. Punjab Police 47.31s; 4x400 relay: 1. Andhra Pradesh 3m 49.01s, 2. Punjab Police 3m50.67s, 3. West Bengal 3m51.11s;

Best individual athlete: Bobby Aloysius (Kerala); Team champion: Punjab Police.

Overall team champion: Punjab Police.