Geetha, Dharambir fastest on opening day

Hyderabad: Local girl Satti Geetha performed to her potential in front of her home crowd as she triumphed in 100m sprint in the opening day`s marquee event at the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships on Saturday.

Geetha, a member of the Indian 4x400m relay quartet which won the gold in the Doha Asiad six years ago, clinched the yellow metal after pre-race favourite Haryana`s Manisha was disqualified for a false start.

The 28-year-old Geetha, already a winner of 100m in the Inter-State championships at Patiala two years ago, clocked 12 seconds flat to take the first place under flood-lights in the GMC Balayogi Stadium at Gachibowli.

In the morning heats she timed 12.04 secs to led the qualifiers. Kerala`s M M Anchu was second at 12.18s while the bronze medal went to Ruma Sarkar from West Bengal in 12.37s.

Dharambir Singh (21), basically a 200m specialist, entered in men`s 100m at eleventh hour. His 10.69s clocking, fastest among the qualifying heats in the morning, sent a warning to other top-rung athletes who assembled here.

However, the overconfident sprinters ignored it and thus suffered a defeat in the hands of the Haryana lad as he went on to win the men`s race in a marvellous 10.51 secs.

Andhra sprinter Abdul Najeeb Qureshi, the joint national record-holder in 100m with a time of 10.30s, just recovered from an injury to take the silver in 10.59s ahead of Kiran Kumar Rane of Maharashtra who clocked 10.60s. Defending champion Shameer Mon of Kerala finished fourth at 10.62s.

National junior champion Indrajeet Patel (Uttar Pradesh) posted a personal best 14:21.44 to win the men`s 5000m run.

The women`s title went to Sahanara Khatun of West Bengal in 17:58.56. Defending champion Arpinder Singh of Punjab was an easy winner in triple jump with 15.90m. Dharam Raj Yadav gave Madhya Pradesh its first gold through his win in discus throw (51.62).

National record-holder Surekha Renjith triumphed in women`s pole vault after a two-year hiatus. She scaled 3.60m for her record seventh title in this event.


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