New Delhi: Young long jumper Ankit Sharma upstaged national record holder Prem Kumar with a new meet-equalling effort to grab the spotlight on the second day of the National Open Athletics Championships here on Monday.
Ankit, representing LIC, leapt to 7.87m in his penultimate jump to equal the 16-year-old meet record set by Sanjay Kumar Rai of Railways. National record holder Kumaravel Prem Kumar's miserable season continued as he was pushed to third place with a best effort of 7.53m. Railwayman Prem Kumar's national record stands at 8.09m.
M Arshad of Services took the silver with a jump of 7.58m. 22-year-old Ankit had finished fifth in the IAAF World Youth Championships in 2009 and won a bronze medal at the Asian Junior Championships in 2010. He has not won a medal at a senior international event.
Meanwhile, Asian Games medallists Tintu Luka and M R Poovamma ran away with easy wins in their respective events. Luka, representing Railways, ran 2:03.88 to win gold in women's 800m race while Poovamma, turning up for ONGC, came first in 400m in 53.59 seconds. Luka had won a silver and Poovamma a bronze in their respective individual events in Incheon Asian Games while both of them were members of the gold-winning 4x400m relay quartet.
Both the athletes ran well below their personal best but that was expected as the National Open was the last event of the year after a gruelling season which had two major international events in Commonwealth and Asian Games.
Luka has a personal best of 1:59.17, which is also a national record, while Poovamma has a personal best of 51.73secs which she recorded at the National Inter-State in Lucknow in June. "I wanted to win a gold for my department (ONGC) and I am happy to have done that. The (below-par) timing was expected after a long and gruelling season. I have not thought of the timing and this (timing) has no significance," Povamma said after her race.
Another Asian Games medal winner Rajiv Arokia was, however, pushed to second spot by Kunhu Muhammad who won the men's 400m race in 46.97secs. Arokia clocked 46.99 while Bibin Mathew was third in 47.83. Manikandan Arumugam and Sharadha Narayan became the fastest man and woman after winning men's and women's 100m dash respectively.
Railway woman Sharadha won gold in 12.21secs ahead of team-mate M M Anchu (12.22) while Kerala's K V Sajitha came third in 12.24. Arumugam of Railways took the men's 100m title in 10.56 ahead of Odisha's Amiya Kumar Mallick (10.61) and Services' Joythi Shankar (10.65). Another Railwayman Sajeesh Joseph won the men's 800m race in 1:49.91 while meet record holder Ghamanda Ram of ONGC was third in 1:51.30 behind Delhi boy Beant Singh (1:51.08).
In men's javelin throw, Rohit Kumar of ONGC won gold with an effort of 72.30 in his final attempt. Devender Singh, who led the field in the first two rounds, bagged the silver with a best of 72.21 while Amit Kumar took bronze with 72.16. In the absence of Asian Games bronze medallist Inderjeet Singh and national record holder Om Prakash Karhana, Bengal's Kashish Khanna won the gold in men's shot put with a best of 18.59m.