Kochi: Sudha Singh of Railways stole the
limelight winning the women`s 3000m steeplechase gold and
bettering her own national and meet records on the penultimate
day of the 50th National Open Athletics Championship.
Twentyfour-year old Sudha got off to a flying start and
kept the momentum up to win the gold in record time of
10:09.56 secs, bettering her own national record of 10:10.77
secs set in 2009 and meet mark of 10:18.76 secs set in 2007.
The other highlight was the new meet record by lanky Elam
Singh of Services in men`s 3000m steeplechase as he clocked
8:39.18 secs. The earlier meet of 8:40.05 secs was set by
Gopal Saini of Railways in 1984.
Defending champions Railways continued their domination
by taking their medal tally to 39, with 15 gold, 10 silver and
14 bronze, followed by Tamil Nadu with nine medals -- four
gold, one silver and four bronze.
Railways men have bagged seven gold, four silver and four
bronze while their women garnered eight gold, six silver and
10 bronze as they assured of the overall as well as the
men and women team championship titles.
Another notable performer was Tamil Nadu`s promising
Gayathri, who completed a double gold by winning the 100m
Hurdles with a time of 13.88 secs. The 19-year old Chennai
girl had on Sunday won the triple jump gold.
An elated Sudha said, "I was confident of winning the
medal. I was doing 10.06 in the trial at Kurnool. We have set
9.50 sec as the target here."
This was the third time Sudha had won 3000m steeplechase
gold. She had won the event in 2007, 2008 and 2010 meets.
"I missed the opportunity in 2009 as I fell down midway
through the run," she said.
Other gold medal winners in the men`s section are Gajanan
Upadhaya (Rly; pole vault), Simranjit Singh (Pol; discus
throw), P Muthu Swami (Rlys; 110m Hurdles), Babu Bhai
(Services; 20km Walk).
Saraswaty (Rlys; javelin) and Kavya Muthanna (Kar; high
jump) won gold in women`s section.