Prajusha takes spotlight with triple jump gold
Patiala: National record holder M A Prajusha took the spotlight by winning the women`s triple jump event in her first competition of the season at the second leg of the Indian Grand Prix on Saturday.
Prajusha was virtually the lone top athlete today and she won gold with a modest effort of 13.02m, way below her national record of 13.72m. Shradha Ghule of Maharashtra and Shalu Chaudhary of Delhi were second and third with jumps of 12.37m and 11.83m respectively.
Prajusha`s training partner and first leg victor Mayookha Johny, who had just recovered from injury, preferred to watch from the stands as the season`s second competition at the NIS tracks saw most of the athletes returning with mediocre marks. Junior athlete Arpinder Singh, who won a silver in last year`s Asian Junior Championships in Vietnam and went on to win this year`s National Games in Ranchi, continued to excel in triple jump as he took the men`s crown with a modest jump of 15.90m.
18-year-old Arpinder`s effort was though well below his national junior best of 16.62m which he registered while winning the event in Ranchi.
Army jumper Bibin Dev raised his personal best to 15.75m while taking the silver. The bronze medal went to Uttar Pradesh Police athlete Saurabh Singh at 15.64m.
In men`s 100m, Krishnakumar Rane of Maharashtra continued his golden run by taking the top spot clocking yet another moderate 10.70 secs. His time today was four-hundredths of a second slower than what he achieved at the first leg on May 3.
There was a fierce competition for the second place between Army sprinters Hemant Kirulkar and Sameer Mon as both returned an identical 10.74 secs. However the former was awarded the silver medal as he had an edge over his compatriot by 6/1000th of a second in photo-finish.
The women`s sprint race saw Rebecca Jose, a 19-year-old Karnataka athlete, clinch the top spot in 12.47 secs. Punjab junior Mandeep Kaur (12.62s) and Delhi`s Shalu Chaudhary (12.92s) completed the podium finish. Rebecca finished third four days ago. Andhra Pradesh`s Mounika Gaddam, who won the first leg in 12.12 secs, was a non-starter.
Aiming for a slot in the national relay squad, the women`s 400m race threw some interesting moments as Andhra Pradesh`s K Mrudula posted a time of 55.77 secs to push Kerala`s Sini Jose (56.07s) for the second place. Jauna Murmu of Orissa was third at 56.22 secs. The first-leg winner Mandeep Kaur did not take part.
Half-miler Ghamanda Ram once again won the men`s 800m with an improved timing of 1:47.59. His solo effort was way ahead of second placed K Ramulu (Andhra Pradesh), who clocked 1:54.28 and Ramjan Khan (1:54.42secs).
Several other athletes repeated their winning performance of the first leg. Rajasthan`s Vikas Poonia (discus throw), Army`s Jithin Thomas (high jump), Bengal`s SK Mortaza (400m), Uttar Pradesh`s Suman Devi (women`s javelin throw) and Punjab`s Amanpreet Kaur (women`s discus throw) all won their second title today though with mediocre efforts.
National record holder high jumper Hari Shankar Roy, who finished second in the first leg with an effort of 2.05m, did not take part on Saturday.