Maharshtra's Kavita Raut stunned National and Meet record holder Preeja Sreedharan (Railways) in the 10000m women's event to clinch the gold with a new record in the 50th National Open Athletic Championship in Kochi on Wednesday.
In a close race, which saw the lead change quite often, Kavita forged ahead with 50 metres to go, held on to the lead and won with a time of 32:41.31 secs.
Preeja took the silver, timing 32:41.72 secs, while Lalita Babar of Railways got the bronze medal, clocking 35:13.76 secs.
The fallen record of 33:25.00 sec stood in the name of Preeja, who too had bettered her own mark.
"I was hoping to do well here. It was a close race and I am happy I could win. Preeja Didi is a good friend of mine," a jubilant Kavitha told PTI.
An ONGC employee, Kavitha said the weather conditions was were very good and she hoped to perform better in the forthcoming championships.
In men's 10000m race, S Raghunath of Police captured the gold medal with a time of 30:03.08 secs, while teammate Ajay Kumar Patel settled for the silver at 30:07.60 secs. Ajay Veer Singh of Railways got the bronze with 30:13.38 secs.
The 200m and 400m in men's and women's sections are among the other events scheduled for the evening.
Reigning overall champion Railways are virtually assured of the title, having collected 15 gold, 10 silver and 14 bronze medals, while Tamil Nadu is second with 4 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze.