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Priya Mahindroo, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 12, 2010
The women's 4x400m relay team scripted history on Tuesday as the quartet of Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Chidananda Akkunji and Mandeep Kaur clocked 3:27.77seconds to win India's second gold in athletics. Nigeria finished with silver while England won bronze. Cheers filled the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium as the girls did a victory march with the Tricolour held high.

For Manjeet, the senior-most member, it was a special moment.

"It feels good to win gold, especially in front of the home crowd. We had prepared for gold and we knew Nigeria would give us tough competition," said Manjeet, who was a part of the team that won silver in 2006 at Melbourne.

Manjeet and Mandeep did not feature in the heats as part of a strategy by coach, Ranbir Sidhu. "We had planned to give Manjeet and Mandeep recovery time and instead got Jauna Murmu and Chitra K Soman to run the heat. It worked for us and all the girls were in good form," said Sidhu.

The girls underwent training in Ukraine and had been practicing hard for the last two years. All four belong to different backgrounds but performed as a team in the final. "Ashwini and Sini were new additions to our squad. Both are young and we knew they would do well. It is a great moment for us. The Ukraine trip helped us a lot," said Mandeep.

"We had a long-term plan for the event. Ukraine was a training-cum-exposure trip and the temperature and food was much better than what we get here," said Sidhu. The coach is now targeting a medal at the Asian Games. "Gold is assured as the same quartet will run there."

India fared extremely well to win bronze in four other events. The men's javelin saw Kashinath Naik touch 74.29m. "I am happy with the medal as this is the first CWG medal for India in javelin," he said. The gold went to Australia's Jarrod Bannister.

The second bronze came in men's triple jump with Renjith Maheshwary setting a new national record at 17.07m. Maheshwary said he "wanted silver or gold, but I am happy with the performance". Nigeria's Tosin Oke won gold.

Both the men and women's 4x100m relay teams won bronze.

While Satti Geetha, Srabani Nanda, PK Priya and HM Jyothi clocked 45.25 seconds, the quartet of Molla Rahamatulla, Suresh Sathya, Shameer Mon and Abdul Qureshi won bronze in the men's event.

"We had practiced non-stop for one-and-half months to get our coordination right," said Qureshi, as the team finished in 38.39 seconds.