Manikanta Hoblidhar had a sensational run at the recent National Open in Bengaluru, improving his personal best with every round and finally taking the 100m gold with a new national record (10.23s). But one saw a very different Manikanta in the 37 th National Games at the Bambolim Athletics Stadium here on Saturday night.
The 22-year-old was in the lead at the half-mark mark but shortly after that he began limping a bit and finally finished fourth as Tamil Nadu’s V.K. Elakkiyadasan grabbed the gold.
“I pulled my hamstring,” explained Manikanta.
The recent National Open, which came towards the end of the season, had seen a string of strange and sensational performances, especially in the 100m, and the National Anti-Doping Agency was on full alert here, taking the top four finishers in the race for a dope test.
The women’s 100m also saw a big surprise with Karnataka’s S.S. Sneha shocking Tamil Nadu’s R. Giridharani, the National Open champion and the country’s fastest this year, for the title.
“We were very close in the National Open so I felt I could do it,” said Sneha who was winning her first major National title.
In the end, Giridharani could just manage a bronze, behind Srabani Nanda. “I had fever after the National Open and it took time to recover,” said the 22-year-old from Chennai who was in a bit of a hurry as she had to take a dope test.
Meanwhile, Asian Games 10,000m bronze medallist Gulveer Singh appeared to be in some trouble in the 5000m but he broke away from the pack with about 50m to go to take the gold.
“I took a break after the Asian Games, I went home and did not train properly for the National Games but I knew I’d win the gold,” said Gulveer.
The results (winners only):
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