Tintu Luka steals limelight, India on top with 17 medals

New Delhi: Legendary PT Usha`s protege Tintu Luka stole the limelight on the first day of the Asian All Star Athletics Meet with a personal best timing to win the gold medal in women`s 800m race.

Luka ran away with the yellow metal with an effort of 2:02.26 and bettered her earlier best of 2:01.61 which she clocked in May in National Open in Kochi.

Her effort was also a new meet record, bettering Kazakhstan`s Margarita Matsko`s 2:05.84 though the event was just three year old.

Veteran Sinimole Paulose won silver with a timing of 2:04.58 while Japanese Ayako Jinnouchi (2:05.51) bagged the bronze.

Woman long jumper Mayookha Johney also came up with her personal best with a leapt of 6.64m to upset favourite Yulia Tarasova of Uzbekistan (6.49m). Another Indian MA Prajusha won bronze with an effort of 6.30m.

India ended the day one of the two-day USD 70,000 prize-money event, which was skipped by top Asian athletes, on top with six gold, five silver and six bronze. Each winner will get USD 1500 while silver and bronze medallist of each of the 25 events will get USD 800 and USD 500 respectively.

More than 200 athletes from 14 countries are taking part in the meet, which is a test event for the Commonwealth Games to be held here from October 3-14.

In women`s 100m hurdle, Kazakhstan`s Anastasiya Soprunova, who made a clean sweep of gold in all the three legs of Asian Grand Prix last month, won the race in 13.66 secs ahead of India`s Gayathri Govindharaj who clocked 13.82 secs. Uzbekistan`s Anastasiya Proshkina finished third.

National record holder Anuradha Biswal finished last in the six-athlete field with a timing of 14.74 secs. Her national mark is 13.38secs.

In men`s high jump, national record holder Hari Shankar Roy won a bronze with a jump of 2.15m.

Sri Lanka`s WP Manjula Kumara won gold with a jump of 2.21m while Vitaly Tsykunov (2.18m) bagged the silver.

Mandeep Kaur ran her season`s best of 52.29 sec to win women`s 400m gold ahead of Kazakhstan`s Julia Gavrilova (52.93 sec) while another Indian Juana Murmu was third with 53.17sec.

National record holder discus thrower Vikas Gowda came all the way from his training base in United States to clear just 54.39m, well below his national mark of 64.96m, though he won the gold in an all-Indian field. Arjun Singh (47.54m) and Arpinder Singh (47.22m) bagged silver and bronze respectively.


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