Punjab claims overall title

THE 43rd edition of the senior National inter-State athletic championship, held at the J. R. D. Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur, could easily be one of the best organised in recent times.

S. SABANAYAKAN

THE 43rd edition of the senior National inter-State athletic championship, held at the J. R. D. Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur, could easily be one of the best organised in recent times. Except a few, the performances, however, were very ordinary. The absence of some of the top stars of India for various reasons also took off much of the glamour.

Satti Geetha of AP (left), who won the women's 400m, and Wayne Peppin of TN, the men's long jump winner, were adjudged the best athletes of the championship. — Pic. S. PATRONOBISH-

It was a wonderful opportunity for the youngsters to showcase their talent. Yet, not many could put their best foot forward leaving the known faces to dominate the three-day action on the newly-laid eight-lane synthetic track.

It was a perfect setting for one of the most important meets of the Indian athletics domestic calendar. As luck would have it, rain, intermittent though, played spoilsport affecting the performance in most of the events. Only the final day was devoid of rain but then the competitors failed to rise above the mediocre show of the first two days.

The Tata Steel managing director, B. Muthuraman, inaugurated the competition, which saw only five meet records improved and one equalled. Among the five records the Amateur Athletic Federation of India (AAFI) did not recognise the decathlon record, while crediting two new records in the men's 100m and 3000m steeplechase.

The final day saw Punjab emerging the overall and men's section champion and Bengal running away with the women's team championship. Asian Games' 800m silver medallist, K. M. Binu, clocked 1:48.18s to improve upon his own mark of 1:48.54s set at the Chennai inter-State meet in 2000.

K. M. Binu (No. 196) tries to go past S. J. Shoesh (244) and P. S. Primesh in the men's 800m. Binu, the Asian Games silver medallist, clocked 1:48.18s to improve upon his own mark of 1:48.54s set at the Chennai inter-State meet in 2000. -- Pic. S. PATRONOBISH-

Binu, who was in England on a training stint, came to India to witness his elder sister K. M. Beenamol receiving the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award from the President of India. The 22-year-old's four-month stint in England gave him the required technical expertise to take home the honour.

Jasmine Kaur of Punjab produced the second record of the final day in the women's 20 km walk. The 26-year-old Punjab Police assistant sub-inspector timed 1::45:28.36s to better Y. Bala Devi's meet mark of 1::47:18.4s set last year. Y. Bala Devi of Bengal had a time of 1::43:06.03 at the Federation Cup held at Hyderabad in July. Once ratified, this would be the new National record.

Vazhipali Suresh Sureka of Tamil Nadu rewrote the women's pole vault meet record by scaling 3.20m. This effort bettered her previous best of 3.18m set in Bangalore last year.

The timing achieved in the newly introduced women's 3,000m steeplechase would automatically become the meet record as B. Hemalatha of Karnataka came in first in 11:05.90s. When the event was first introduced at the Hyderabad Federation Cup, she clocked 11:05.67. When they are ratified, they would enter the record books as meet and National records respectively.

Gulab Chand (No. 12) and Kuldeep Kumar (No. 363) in action in the men's 5,000m race. Gulab Chand, who won the gold, also took the 1,500m title to complete a double. -- Pic. S. PATRONOBISH-

High jumper Omveer Singh of Rajasthan cleared 2.12, which equalled the meet mark. N. Annavi of Tamil Nadu raised the record to 2.12 at Gandhinagar in 1991. Since then three of them, Vikas Sheoran of Haryana (Bangalore, 1995), Arumugam Pillai of Tamil Nadu (Chennai, 2000) and Omveer (Bangalore 2002) had cleared the height successfully.

Decathlete Kulwinder Singh of Haryana accumulated 7,218 points. This was for the first time in an inter-State meet a decathlete could break 7,000 points barrier after Kerala's Suresh Babu scored 7,380 points at the 1978 Quilon meet. The record list circulated by the AAFI mentioned Suresh Babu's as the inter-State record and Vijay Singh Chauhan's 7306 set at the Munich Olympics as the National record.

Since Babu's record was better than Chauhan's, then what stopped the AAFI to recognise this as the National record? Till date neither Suresh Babu nor Kerala or even the AAFI could come out with details of the performance of Suresh Babu in each event so that conversion could be done according to the 1984 tables.

Sanjay Ghosh (left) edges out Anil Kumar (No. 192), in a close finish, in the men's 100m dash. -- Pic. S. PATRONOBISH-

Since the 1984 tables came into being, only T. K. Sebastian of Kerala's score of 6,927 points achieved at Trivandrum in 1992 could be safely claimed to be the meet record. Kulwinder's career best showing on the two damp days should be laudable and the meet record was credited to the 25-year-old armyman.

The AAFI credited the 100m meet mark to Sanjay Ghosh of Madhya Pradesh who clocked 10.36s in the semifinal heats. This, according to the technical delegates of the meet, bettered the previous best of 10.4s, which stood in the name of Adille Sumariwala (1982, Calicut), Rajeev Balakrishnan (1995, Chennai) and Ramaswamy Gnanasekharan (1977, Madras). All the above were taken manually and, if converted by the standard international conversion, should be 10.64s.

Now the question is: what happened to Ajay Raj Singh's heats time of 10.35s achieved at the Chennai meet in 2000? In the same meet, Anil Kumar clocked 10.36 (+0.1), which has also not been ratified as yet.

Poonam Tomar (left) wins the women's 100m. Vinita Tripathi (No. 489) came second. -- Pic. S. PATRONOBISH-

The AAFI also credited Arun D'Souza of Andhra Pradesh with the men's 3,000m steeplechase record. His time of 8:52.11s did better the record of 8:54.3s set by Balkar Singh in Madras in 1993. Dina Ram of Rajasthan achieved 8:47.51s during the New Delhi inter-State meet in 1990. The AAFI conducted both the inter-State and the Open National within a short gap in New Delhi to select the Indian team for the Beijing Asian Games. Dina Ram won both the inter-State and the Open National (8:43.54s) titles. Yet, his inter-State mark was ignored by the AAFI.

Three athletes achieved a double in the meet. Gulab Chand of Andhra Pradesh won 1,500m (3:48.89s) and the 5,000m (14:52.74s); Madhuri A. Singh of Punjab won the 800m (2:04.33s) and the 1,500m (4:24.81s) and heptathlete Pramila Aiyappa took the long jump gold (6.23m) and the heptathlon (5,787 points).

The Governor, Ved Marwah, was the chief guest on the concluding day and gave away the trophies.

The results: Men:

100m: 1. Sanjay Ghosh (MP) 10.50s, 2. Amit Saha (Ben) 10.54, 3. Anil Kumar (Ker) 10.56.

200m: 1. Anil Kumar (Ker) 21.46s, 2. Sanjay Ghosh (MP) 21.54, 3. Amit Saha (Ben) 21.83.

400m: 1. K. J. Manoj Lal (Ker) 46.44s, 2. Satbir Singh (Har) 47.00, 3. P. Shankar (AP) 47.23.

800m: 1. K. M. Binu (Ker) 1:48.18s (NMR, previous 1:48.54s by Binu, Chennai, 2000), 2. P. S. Primesh (Ker) 1:48.78, 3. S. J. Shoesh (Mah) 1:49.61.

1,500m: 1. Gulab Chand (AP) 3:48.89s, 2. Kuldip Kumar (UP) 3:50.61, 3. Sunil Kumar (Har) 3:53.50.

5,000m: 1. Gulab Chand (AP) 14:52.74s, 2. Kuldip Kumar (UP) 14:53.29, 3. I. A. Shivanandan (AP) 14:55.67.

10,000m: 1. Aman Saini (HP) 31:35.50s, 2. Puran Chand (Pun) 31:59.46, 3. Santosh Kumar Patel (UP) 32:52.04.

110m hurdles: 1. Gurpreet Singh (Pun) 14.40s, 2. Navnidh Singh (Pun) 14.40, 3. Krishna Mohan (AP) 14.83.

400m hurdles: 1. Vara Prasad Reddy (AP) 52.31s, 2. Joseph G. Abraham (Ker) 52.78, 3. Abhishek Pandey (UP) 52.86.

3,000m steeplechase: 1. Arun D'Souza (AP) 8:52.11s, 2. Ravi Ranjan (Jhar) 9:06.28, 3. Ram Bahadur (Del) 9:12.38.

High jump: 1. Omveer Singh (Raj) 2.12m (EMR), 2. Bendict Starly (TN) 2.09, 3. Hari Sankar Roy (Ben) 2.09.

Long jump: 1. Wayne Peppin (TN) 7.90m, 2. Maha Singh (Pun) 7.68, 3. Sanjay Rai (Ben) 7.66.

Triple jump: 1. V. Shiju (Ker) 15.59m, 2. Amarjeet Singh (Pun) 15.58, 3. K. A. Caintson (Ker) 15.49.

Pole vault: 1. Parveen Kumar (Har) 4.90m, 2. Samsher Singh (Har) 4.80, 3. Gajanan Upadhyay (UP) 4.80.

Shot put: 1. Shakti Singh (Har) 18.70m, 2. Bahadur Singh (Pun) 18.69, 3. Jaiveer Singh (Raj) 18.29.

Discus: 1. Sukhbir Singh (Chd) 53.07m, 2. Gurusewak Singh (Pun) 52.98, 3. Haridayanand Singh (UP) 52.09.

Hammer throw: 1. Pramod Tiwary (UP) 65.92m, 2. Kulwinder Singh (Pun) 63.74, 3. Harender Singh (Pun) 61.76.

Javelin: 1. Jagdish Bishnoi (Pun) 71.67s, 2. Ranjit Kumar Maurya (UP) 68.86, 3. Rai Singh (Har) 68.61.

Decathlon: 1. Kulwinder Singh (Har) 7,218 points (NMR, previous 6927 by T. K. Sebastian (Ker), Trivandrum, 1992), 2. P. J. Vinod (Jhar) 6,886, 3. Kamal Chauhan (Bih) 6,149.

4x100m relay: 1. Karnataka 40.81, Tamil Nadu 41.49, 3. Kerala 41.85.

4x400m relay: 1. Kerala 3:11.94s, 2. Tamil Nadu 3:13.23, 3. Jharkhand 3:15.40.

20 km walk: 1. Sitaram Basat (Raj) 1::34:09s, 2. Gurmeet Singh (Pun) 1::35:35.1, 3. Vijay Kumar Gehlot (UP) 1::36:25.6.

Women:

100m: 1. Poonam Tomar (Del) 12.00, 2. Vinita Tripathi (UP) 12.10, 3. K. Greeshma (Ker) 12.15.

200m: 1. Vinita Tripathi (UP) 24.43s, 2. Poonam Tomar (Del) 24.79, 3. Rakhi Saha (Ben) 25.14.

400m: 1. Satti Geetha (AP) 54.40s, 2. Sagardeep Kaur (Pun) 54.76, 3. K. Kalpana Reddy (AP) 54.89.

800m: 1. Madhuri A. Singh (Pun) 2:04.33s, 2. Sunita Kumari (Del) 2:04.92, 3. Ramla Devi (Pun) 2:07.41.

1,500m: 1. Madhuri A. Singh (Pun) 4:24.81s, 2. Sinimol Paulose (Ker) 4:34.32, 3. S. Santhi (TN) 4:35.70.

5,000m: 1. Sunita Rani (Pun) 16:31.75s, 2. Pushpa Devi (Del) 17:07.89, 3. Vaishali Chatre (Mah) 17:33.36.

10,000m: 1. L. Aruna Devi (Ben) 36:04.54s, 2. Pushpa Devi (Del) 37:01.10, 3. Vaishali Chatre (Mah) 37:37.72.

100m hurdles: 1. K. N. Priya (TN) 14.06s, 2. Soma Biswas (Ben) 14.24, 3. Dipti Vaidia (Mah) 14.76.

400m hurdles: 1. S. Roslin Arokya Mary (TN) 1:00.29s, 2. K. J. Vijila (Ker) 1:01.60, 3. V. Vanishree (TN) 1:02.86.

3,000m steeplechase: 1. B. Hemalatha (Kar) 11:05.90s (NMR, new event), 2. Vinita Thakar (Pun) 11:09.23, 3. Jaswinder Kaur (Del) 11:30.75.

High jump: 1. Sahana Kumari (Kar) 1.75m, 2. Tessymol Joseph (Mah) 1.69, 3. Mallika Mondal (Ben) 1.66.

Long jump: 1. Pramila Aiyappa (Kar) 6.23m, 2. Jetty C. Joseph (Ker) 6.16, 3. Rutu Patkar (Jhar) 6.04.

Triple jump: 1. Manisha Dey (Ben) 13.21m, 2. Tincy Philip (Ker) 12.63, 3. Kalpana Das (Ben) 12.42.

Pole vault: 1. V. S. Sureka (TN) 3.20m (NMR, previous 3.18m by Sureka, Bangalore, 2002), 2. Deepa Choudhary (Del) 3.00, 3. Shahil Tewari (UP) 3.00.

Shot put: 1. Chaitali Paul (Ben) 14.41m, 2. Manmeet (UP) 12.66, 3. Bimmi Singh (Pun) 12.28.

Discus: 1. Neelam J. Singh (Pun) 57.90m, 2. Harwant Kaur (Pun) 54.92, 3. Seema Antil (Har) 53.56.

Javelin: 1. Manisha Mondal (Ben) 48.36m, 2. Suman Devi (UP) 48.13, 3. Gurmeet Kaur (Del) 47.92.

Hammer throw: 1. Hardeep Kaur (Pun) 58.29m, 2. Ritu (Del) 57.11, 3. Alka Pandey (UP) 51.93.

Heptathlon: 1. Pramila Aiyappa (Kar) 5,787 points, 2. Soma Biswas (Ben) 5,427, 3. P. Bindu (Ker) 4,771.

4x100m relay: 1. Kerala 47.00s, 2. Andhra Pradesh 42.24, 3. Tamil Nadu 48.05.

4x400m relay: 1. Bengal 3:47.34s, 2. Kerala 3:49.80, 3. Andhra Pradesh 3:51.13.

20 km walk: 1. Jasmine Kaur (Pun) 1::45:28.36s (NMR, previous 1::47:18.4s by Y. Bala Devi (Ben), Bangalore, 2002), 2. Y. Bala Devi (Ben) 1::50:21.00, 3. L. Deepmala (Mani) 1::57:59.80.

Overall championship: 1. Punjab 161 points, 2. Kerala 125.

Men: Punjab 85 points. Women: Bengal 90 points.

Best athlete: Men: Wayne Peppin (TN); Women: Satti Geetha (AP).