Rich haul for the host, but of the borrowed kind

ABHIJIT SEN GUPTA

Anju George cleared 6.59 metres, which was better than her Busan Asian Games effort of 6.53, to take the long jump gold. Anju also bagged the gold in the triple jump.-P.V. SIVAKUMAR

THE host State Andhra Pradesh picked up a rich haul of medals in the athletics championships of the 32nd National Games, partly due to its policy of bringing in athletes from other Sates with the offer of cash incentives for every medal they could win by representing AP. However, at the same time, one cannot deny that AP's own athletes such as P. Shankar, P. Udaylaxmi, J. J. Shobha and Kalpana Reddy also put up superb performances and were also responsible in raising their State's stature in this discipline.

But, perhaps, if one had to select the most outstanding athlete of the meet it would be Anju B. George, who bagged the long jump and triple jump golds — a repeat of her feat in the previous edition of the Games held in Punjab in 2001. And, interestingly, her gold medal-winning jump of 6.59 metres was better than her Busan Asian Games gold medal jump of 6.53 metres! At the Punjab National Games in 2001 she had created the Games record of 6.61 metres, so she was behind her mark on this occasion.

Harwant Kaur of Punjab won both the shot put and the discus golds.-P.V. SIVAKUMAR

A couple of days later she broke her own record in the women's triple jump by clearing 13.67 metres. She had set the previous record in the Punjab National Games, which stood at 13.61 metres. But after pocketing the gold she told presspersons that she would not take part in the triple jump event any more since she wanted to concentrate on long jump.

Another outstanding athlete of the meet was Gulab Chand who picked up three golds in the three races he took part in. On the first day, Gulab Chand won the gold in both the men's 1500 metres and 10,000 metres. Then, on the final day, he made the Hyderabad meet a memorable occasion in his career when he added a third gold, winning the 5000 metres. Speaking to the media, Gulab said he had not gone through any special preparation for this meet. Instead, he had taken a long rest after the Busan Asian Games to recuperate and regain his strength.

On the opening day, apart from Gulab Chand's double, the other athlete who hogged the limelight was Chetna Solanki of Gujarat who created a new record in the women's pole vault by scaling 3.35 metres to erase the old record of 3.25 metres set by Karamjeet Kaur in the Punjab Games. Karamjeet also bettered her old mark by vaulting 3.30 metres but had to be content with silver.

Punjab's Madhuri Singh (right) on way to victory in the women's 1,500m event. Harjeet Kaur (left) finished second.-P.V. SIVAKUMAR

The second day saw P. Shankar of AP — one of the most promising athletes the State has produced in recent times — set a new Games record in the 400 metre hurdles. Shankar, a junior Asian medallist, later picked up a silver in the 400 metres.

The next day Arun D'Souza and Anand Menezes, who had donned AP colours, gave the host two more golds in the 3000 metres steeplechase and the men's 200 metres respectively. The steeplechase was a one-man show, with Arun D'Souza breaking the record, while Anand Menezes won the gold in a photo-finish from Jagdish Basak, who had earlier won the 100 metres. But what was really heartening for AP was the fact that J. J. Shobha rewrote the record books in the women's heptathlon by logging 5888 points to erase the old record of 5445 set by Soma Biswas. The AP heptathlete has shown steady improvement over the years and now has 6000 points as her target, which she hopes to achieve in 2003.

Gujarat's Chetna Solanki created a new record in women's pole vault.-P.V. SIVAKUMAR

The men's shot put event saw the two biggest names in Bahadur Singh and Shakti Singh missing from the line-up much to the disappointment of the fans. But Navpreet Singh lived up to the expectations by winning the gold easily in their absence.

On the final day, the unheralded Services runner, Ghamanda Ram, surprised everyone by winning the men's 800 metres in a record time of 1 min, 48.24 seconds to break K. M. Binu's 1m, 48.69 set in the Punjab National Games. Kerala's P. S. Primesh, who was expected to win this race, also broke the old record by timing 1m, 48.59s, but had to be satisfied with the silver as Ghamanda Ram came from behind and charged past Primesh just before the finish.

Jitender Kumar of AP acknowledges the cheers of the crowd after picking up the men's pole vault gold.-P.V. SIVAKUMAR

During the championship, middle-distance runner Madhuri A. Singh of Punjab and long distance specialist Madhuri Gurnule of Maharashtra picked up double golds as did discus thrower and shot putter Harwant Kaur of Punjab.

The results: Men:

1500m: 1. Gulab Chand (AP) 3m, 51.32s ; 2. Dharamveer (Har) 3m, 51.81s; 3. T. M. Sanjeev (Ker) 3m, 52.87s.

Javelin: 1. Jagdish Bishnoi (Pun) 72.96 mts; 2. Ramandeep Singh (Chd) 72.04 mts; 3. Md. Fazal Ansari (SSCB) 71.95 mts.

10,000m: 1. Gulab Chand (AP) 30m, 25.21s ; 2. I. A. Shivanand (AP) 30m, 25.65s; 3. Aman Saini (HP) 30m, 25.72s.

Punjab's Amritpal Singh claimed the men's long jump gold.-P.V. SIVAKUMAR

Triple jump: 1. Amarjeet Singh (Pun) 16.38 mts (NMR) (Old 16.04 mts); 2. Pritpal Singh (Pun) 15.56 mts; 3. Sukjinder Singh (Chd) 15.50 mts.

110m hurdles: 1. N. Singh (Pun) 14.39s; 2. Yesudas (AP) 14.52s; 3. H. Kushalappa (Kar) 14.72s.

Long jump: 1. Amritpal Singh (Pun) 7.73 mts; 2. Maha Singh (Har) 7.53 mts; 3. S. Ramachandran (TN) 7.52 mts.

100m: 1. Jagdish Basak (Pun) 10.59s; 2. Sanjay Ghosh (SSCB) 10.72s; 3. Ganesh Satpute (Mah) 10.77s.

400m hurdles: 1. P. Shankar (AP) 51.37s (NMR) (Old 51.66s); 2. Abhishek Pandey (UP) 51.68s; 3. K. P. Visagamani (TN) 51.85s.

3000m steeplechase: 1. Arun D'Souza (AP) 8m, 54.07s (NMR) (Old 8m, 58.10s); 2. R. Suresh (SSCB) 9m, 12.71s; 3. Ranjan Kumar Jha (SSCB) 9m, 16.29s.

Hammer: 1. Rakesh Kumar (UP) 63.99 mts; 2. Gurinderjeet Singh (Chd) 63.51 mts; 3. Harpal Singh (Pun) 63.50 mts.

200m: Anand Menezes (AP) 21.634s; 2. Jagdish Basak (Pun) 21.637s; 3. Ajay Raj Singh (Pun) 21.73s.

Shot put: 1. Navpreet Singh (Pun) 18.24 mts; 2. Ran Vijay (UP) 18.18 mts; 3. Jaiveer Singh (SSCB) 17.95 mts.

400m: 1. K. Manojlal (Ker) 47.01s; 2. P. Shankar (AP) 47.16s; 3. P. Ramachandran (TN) 47.42s.

Decathlon: 1. Mandeep Kumar (AP) 6951 points (NMR) (Old 6904 pts); 2. Kulvinder Singh (SSCB) 6951 pts (NMR); 3. P. J. Vinod (Jhar) 6843 pts.

High jump: 1. K. R. Roshan (Ker) 2.11 mts; 2. Om Bir Singh (Har) 2.11 mts; 3. Hari Shankar Ray (AP) 2.08 mts.

Discus: 1. Haridayanand Singh (AP) 56.20 mts; 2. K. K. Sharma (Bih) 55.31 mts; 3. D. S. Bajwa (Kar) 51.52 mts.

Jagdish Basak (extreme right) is ecstatic after crossing the finish line in the men's 100m race.-P.V. SIVAKUMAR

800m: 1. Ghamanda Ram (SSCB) 1m, 48.24s (NGR) (Old 1m, 48.69s); 2. P. S. Primesh (Ker) 1m, 48.59s (NGR); 3. Hemlendra Patel (MP) 1m, 49.73s.

Pole vault: 1. Jitender Kumar (AP) 4.90 mts; 2. V. V. Geesh Kumar (AP) 4.85 mts; 3. Shamsher Singh (Har) 4.80 mts.

5000m: 1. Gulab Chand (AP) 14m, 39.09s; 2. I. A. Shivanand (AP) 14m, 39.97s; 3. Aman Saini (HP) 14m, 41.89s.

4x100m relay: 1. Delhi 40.72s (NGR) (Old 40.99s); 2. SSCB 40.85s (NGR), 3. Punjab 41.05s.

4x400m relay: 1. Kerala 3m, 9.82s; 2. AP 3m, 10.57s; 3. Punjab 3m, 11.06s.

20 km walk (Event held at Pune on December 2, 2002): 1. Sitaram (SSCB) 1hr, 31.35s; 2. Amrik Singh (SSCB) 1hr, 31.42s; 3. Gurudev Singh (SSCB) 1hr, 31.46s.

Women:

1500m: 1. Madhuri A. Singh (Pun) 4m, 26.27s; 2. Harjeet Kaur (Pun) 4m, 26.38s; 3. Sunita (Del) 4m, 26.42s.

Long jump: 1. Anju B. Geroge (TN) 6.59 mts; 2. Jetty C. Joseph (Ker) 6.27 mts; 3. J. J. Shobha (AP) 6.16 mts.

Pole vault: 1. Chetna Solanki (Guj) 3.35 mts (NMR) (Old 3.25 mts); 2. Karamjeet Kaur (Pun) 3.30 mts; 3. V. S. Surekha (TN) 3.25 mts.

100m hurdles: 1. Anuradha Biswal (Ori) 13.95s; 2. Poonam Bojanna (Kar) 14.29s; 3. Soma Biswas (Ben) 14.30s.

Discus: 1. Harwant Kaur (Pun) 55.29 mts; 2. Saroj Sihag (Har) 53.09 mts; 3. Swaranjit Kaur (Pun) 50.76 mts.

High jump: 1. Bobby Aloysius (Ker) 1.79 mts; 2. Sahana Kumari (Kar) 1.76 mts; 3. Sarita Patil (Mah) 1.73 mts.

Andhra's Gulab Chand (middle), who won the men's 1,500m gold. Gulab also claimed the honours in the 5,000 and the 10,000m events.-P.V. SIVAKUMAR

100m: 1. Kavita Pandya (Mah) 11.79s, 2. Vinitha Tripathi (AP) 11.88s; 3. K. M. Greeshama Ker) 12.12s.

10,000m: 1. Madhuri Gurnule (Mah) 34m, 50.89s, 2. Pushpa (Del) 35m, 28.55s; 3. L. Aruna Devi (Mani) 35m, 44.64s.

400m hurdles: 1. P. Udaylaxmi (AP) 58.41s; 2. Sapinder Kaur (Pun) 59.26s; 3. A. Kalyani (AP) 59.85s.

Shot put: 1. Harwant Kaur (Pun) 15.53 mts; 2. N. Latha (TN) 15.06 mts; 3. Chaitali Pal (AP) 15.06 mts.

200m: 1. Vinita Tripathi (AP) 24.03s; 2. S. Geetha (AP) 24.18s; 3. Kavita Pandya (Mah) 24.20s.

Heptathlon: 1. J. J. Shobha (AP) 5888 points (NMR) (Old 5445 pts); 2. P. Bindu (Ker) 4707 pts; Rosemary Anthony (Ker) 4530 pts.

Triple jump: 1. Anju B. George (TN) 13.67 mts (NMR) (Old 13.61 mts) ; 2. Manisha Dey (AP) 13.32 mts; 3. N. Krishna Priya (TN) 12.82 mts.

Hammer: 1. Hardeep Kaur (Pun) 55.16 mts; 2. Ritu Rani (Del) 51.39 mts; 3. Alka Pandey (UP) 49.85 mts.

400m: 1. Kalpana Reddy (AP) 53.21s; 2. S. Geetha (AP) 53.34s; 3. P. Udaylakshmi (AP) 53.50s.

800m: 1. Madhuri A. Singh (Pun) 2m, 7.37s; 2. Sunita (Delhi) 2m, 07.41s; Harjeet Kaur (Pun) 2m, 7.62s.

5000m: 1. Madhuri Gurnule (Mah) 16m, 54.23s, 2. L. Aruna Devi (Mani) 17m, 15.62s; 3. B. Nagamani (AP) 17m, 24.14s.

Javelin: 1. Gurmeet Kaur (Pun) 53.30 mts, 2. Suman Devi (AP) 49.30 mts; 3. Gurpreet Kaur (Har) 48.42 mts.

4x100m relay: 1. AP 46.02s (NGR) (Old 46.62s); 2. TN 46.62s (equalled old record); 3. Kerala 47.24s.

4x400m relay: 1. AP 3m, 36.25s (NGR) (Old 3m, 37.69s); 2. Kerala 3m, 39.58s; 3. Punjab 3m, 41.42s.

20km walk (Event held at Pune on December 2, 2002): 1. S. Pavani (AP) 1hr, 51.23s; 2. L. Deepmala Devi (Mani) 1hr, 52.25s; 3. Ravina Antil (Har) 1hr, 53.48s.