Dutee Chand sets national 100m record
The young Odisha sprinter improved upon her own mark to signal her form gearing up for the Jakarta Asian Games, to be held from August 18.Updated: Jun 29, 2018 23:54 IST
Dutee Chand broke her national 100 metres mark as the athlete embroiled in a battle to overturn the world body’s gender rule took centrestage on the final day of the Inter State Athletics Championships here on Friday.
The diminutive sprinter from Odisha clocked 11.29 secs in the semi-finals to slice one-hundredth of a second from her previous mark before winning the final in 11.32 secs, way ahead of the Jakarta Asian Games qualifying mark of 11.67 secs.
Upstaged by teenager Hima Das in the longer sprint, Dutee’s coach N Ramesh blamed afternoon rain for her unsuccessful bid to further lower the national record. She has also qualified in the 200m though she is expected to focus on the shorter sprint.
Four athletes, Hima (sprints), Jinson Johnson (middle distance), Sanjeevani Jadhav and G Lakshmanan (both long distance) completed a double on the final of competition at the Indira Gandhi Stadium. The final day featured 13 events, with 10 athletes achieving the Games norm.
The women’s 400m generated lot of interest as local runner Hima was a strong contender. She ran a brilliant race to edge out favourite Nirmala Sheoran, with a meet record to boot.
Hima clocked 51.13 secs, a personal best. The meet record was 51.48 secs. Nirmala finished second at 51.26 secs but both achieved the Games norm of 52.47 secs.
Hima’s coach Basant Singh said the aim was to break the national record of 51.05 secs, set in 2004 by Manjeet Kaur, but
His ward didn’t stick to the pre-race strategy. “Her first 300m was slow, it robbed her of a good time,” he said. Hima said she poured all her energy to catch the leader, Nirmala. “I just did my best,” she added.
Nirmala said she was caught by surprise and couldn’t react. “I set a fast pace and never expected Hima to catch up,” she said.
In men’s 1500m, Jinson Johnson, who broke the 42-year-old 800m national record in 800m, won in 3:45.12 secs, just off the qualifying norm of 3:45 secs. He had already qualified for the Games due to his 800m time.
In women’s 1500m, the top four dipped under the Games qualifying mark of 4:16.38 secs, with PU Chitra winning in 4:11.55 secs. Last year, the Kerala runner had protested the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) decision to drop her for the World Championships citing her timing. After winning the women’s 5000m and qualifying, Maharashtra’s Sanjeevani won the 10,000m too.
G Lakshmanan won the 10,000m in 29:16.23 secs, six seconds slower than the Games qualifying mark.
Seasoned triple jumper Arprinder Singh of Haryana made the cut with a best of 17.09m. Kerala’s Rakesh Babu also made the norm, clearing 16.63m. The qualifying mark was 16.62m.
In heptathlon, Purnima Hembram and Swapna Barman scored 5898 and 5725 respectively to come first and second and earn spots in the squad. The qualifying mark was 5400 points.
The AFI will announce the squad on Saturday.
Hima Das and Aprinder Singh were declared best athletes of the meet.
First Published: Jun 29, 2018 23:35 IST