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Tuesday, Sep 24, 2019

India win four gold in Asian Athletics Championships on super Friday

Mohammad Anas and Nirmala won the gold medal in the men’s and women’s 400 metres athletics event while Chitra PU and Ajay Kumar finished on top in the 1500m race as India had a great day in the Asian Athletics Championship.

other-sports Updated: Jul 07, 2017 22:30 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Mohammad Anas and Nirmala were the stars on super Friday as India won four gold medals in Asian Athletics Championship.
Mohammad Anas and Nirmala were the stars on super Friday as India won four gold medals in Asian Athletics Championship.(HT Photo)

It was a brilliant day for Indian quarter milers at the Asian Athletics Championships on Friday with national champions Mohammad Anas and Nirmala winning gold in the men’s and women’s 400 metre events at Kalinga Stadium.

Middle distance runners added to India’s gold medal tally on Day 2. While Chitra PU won the women’s 1500m race, Ajay Kumar finished first in the men’s race, qualifying for the World Championships in August. Anas and Nirmala had qualified for the Worlds earlier.

The final races on Friday were held under a light drizzle after a long delay due to rain.

The delay did affect the athletes but the Indians seemed to be at home in the wet conditions. “The weather did spoil the rhythm as the race was delayed,” said Nirmala after the race in which teenager Jisna Mathew won bronze. “But once I settled on the blocks I was focused to give my best.”

Nirmala added she was confident of a podium finish in the race but wasn’t sure about the colour.

“When I reached the 200m mark of the race I saw that others slowing down a bit,” she said. “I just dug deep into my reserve to push. And, on the home straight, there was no one close to me.”

Bronze medal winner Jisna also had a lot to be happy about as it was her first major medal in the senior level though she has been a member of the 4x400m relay team. “I am happy to have won medal at the level, It will help me prepare for the 2018 season,” she said.

MR Poovamma, who was expected to reach the podium finished fourth in the 400m race.

Men’s 400 metre champion Anas felt the victory was a good preparation for the Worlds. “The competition here is one step forward for the global meet,’’ he said.

Anas’ training partner Rajiv Arokia won silver. Amoj Jacob, third Indian in the race was fourth.

India Tajinder Pal Singh won silver in men’s shot put with a throw of 19.41m while Dutee Chand got bronze in the women’s 100m. She clocked 11.52 secs. Overall India won four gold, two silver and two bronze. Men’s 100m title went to Iran’s Hassan Taftian with a time of 10.25 secs. He upset defending champion of Qatar Femi Seun who was second in 10.26 secs

First Published: Jul 07, 2017 22:05 IST