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India debut with bronze medal on the track

A deafening roar filled the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium when Kavita Raut finished third in the 10,000m on Friday. As she ran with the Tricolour, whistles and vuvuzelas were heard all around.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2010 02:03 IST

A deafening roar filled the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium when Kavita Raut finished third in the 10,000m on Friday. As she ran with the Tricolour, whistles and vuvuzelas were heard all around.

"I'm on cloud nine at the moment. It's great to win the first medal for my country in athletics in the Games. The road was not easy and I had to work very hard," said Kavita.

Giving credit to her coaches Dr. Nicola and JS Bhatia, and personal coach Vijendra Singh, Kavita said, "The crowd was highly supportive and it felt good racing at home," she said, having finished the race in 33.05.28 seconds.

Hailing from a middle-class family from Nasik, Kavita trained in Bangalore for some months before the Games. "I was aiming to get past my personal best," she said. Kavita had earlier won bronze in 5000m at the Asian Athletics Championship in 2009.

The gold and silver medallists in were both from Kenya. While Grace Kwamboka clocked 32.34.11s to clinch gold, Dons Chepkwemo followed at 32.36.97s to win silver. The other two Indians on the track, Preeja Sreedharan and Lalita Babar finished seventh and eighth respectively.

In the final of women's triple jump, Prajusha Maliakkal fared well for the first four rounds and maintained third place. But she finished fourth after the last two rounds. However, finishing at 13.72m, she broke the national record of 13.68m held by Mayookha Johny. Tracia Kaye of Jamaica won the gold.

In other events, England's Andy Turner clocked 13.38s to win gold while compatriots Willam Sharman and Lawrence Clarke won silver and bronze respectively. Kenya's Nancy Jebet was the fastest in the women's 1500m event and won gold, while New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin and Scotland's Stephanie Twell took silver and bronze respectively.