Despite rain threat, Indian Grand Prix opens to a packed stadium
400m-relay Asian record holder Amoj Jacob clocked 45.92 seconds to win the men’s 400m event; he was the sole runner to finish in less than 46 seconds
The new synthetic athletics track at the Sector 7 Sports Complex was the cynosure of all eyes on Day 1 of the Indian Grand Prix in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Despite rain looming over the city’s first-ever prestigious athletics event, spectators thronged the complex to show support for the participants.
Age no bar, officials and fans were in great spirits and cheered for the athletes. “My son is a gymnast and trains at the complex. He was excited to witness the events today. Fortunately, the weather is good and the heat is bearable. It was great to get a glimpse of madam PT Usha,” said a fan, adding that he and his son were waiting to see the javelin throw finals.
A loud cheer welcomed Indian Olympic Association president and legendary athlete PT Usha at the event. “It is great that the administration has worked on the project and laid this hi-tech synthetic track in Chandigarh. The city has beautiful surroundings and such a facility was definitely missing. I am sure the local athletes will benefit from this,” said PT Usha, who stayed to spectate some competitions.
400m-relay Asian record holder Amoj Jacob clocked 45.92 seconds to win the men’s 400m event. He was the sole runner to finish in less than 46 seconds.
Vithya Ramaraj from Tamil Nadu clocked 52.4 seconds to win the women’s 400m final. Jyothi Yarraji from Andhra Pradesh, who is India’s 200m hurdle specialist, competed in the 400 m race and finished sixth at 53.91 seconds.
Experienced Odisha sprinter Srabani Nanda was the fastest at 11.77 seconds in 100m dash, with Nithya Gandhe (11.85s) and Aishwarya Dhaneshwari (11.94s) coming in second and third, respectively.
India’s 1,500m specialist Jinson Johnson recorded season-best time of 3:39.32 seconds race B to emerge as the champion.
Seasoned mid-distance runner Harmilan Bains decided opted out of the women’s 1,500m race as she was the lone participant. She will compete in the women’s 800m final on Monday. In the men’s 5,000m race, Abhishek Pal from Uttar Pradesh bagged the top spot with timing of 14:24:32.
In women’s 10,000m race, Sanjivani Baburao Jadha grabbed top honours by clocking 33:27:44.
Abha Khatua from Maharashtra walked home with top spot in women’s shot-put.
In the men’s javelin throw event, Kishore Kumar Jena from Odisha threw 82.53 m to emerge as the champion.
Vikas Yadav from Uttar Pradesh came in second with a throw of 72.88 m.
Sukhpreet Singh from Punjab bagged the men’s triple jump with a distance of 14.85m.
All eyes will be on the relay races on Monday as the men’s and women’s quartets will be eyeing for timings to qualify for the upcoming Asian Games. Competitions will kick off at 6 am on Monday and entry is free for spectators.