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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Inter-State Athletics championships: Sprinter Dutee Chand disappoints in 100m, Parul shocks Sudha in 3000m steeplechase

The Odisha runner could only manage an under-par 11.38 seconds to win the 100m dash at the 59th Inter-State Athletics Championships in Lucknow on Friday.

other-sports Updated: Aug 30, 2019 21:54 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
File image of Dutee Chand.
File image of Dutee Chand.(Getty Images)

On a day when ace sprinter Dutee Chand could not meet the Doha World Championships qualifying standard during her gold medal-winning effort of 11.38 sec in 100m, home girl Parul Chaudhary surprised Jakarta Asian Games silver medallist Sudha Singh in 3000m steeplechase in a thrilling manner, at the Inter State Championships on Friday.

Dutee can still book a ticket to the Worlds if she achieves the qualifying time of 11:24sec during the Indian Grand Prix at Patiala on September 5 or by virtue of her world ranking.

Dutee, the 100m and 200m silver medallist at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, had clocked 11.35sec in the heats on Thursday, but a slow start on Friday spoilt her chances of making the Doha grade, though she maintained her supremacy, beating Archana Suseendran (Tamil Nadu — 11.50) and Himashree Roy (West Bengal — 11.63) by a big distance.

“After the heats and semi-finals on Thursday, I was not able to fully recover. The weather too has not made it easy for anyone. I tried but it wasn’t easy,” Dutee, the four-time Asian Championships bronze medallist said.

“I still have one more chance (to make it to the Worlds). I will now concentrate on the Indian Grand Prix at Patiala. I am confident of making the cut through the world rankings also…so there is not too much of pressure,” said Dutee, reiterating that she will continue to focus on 100m in future.

“I have decided to only run 100m. This is the event I can focus on more seriously,” said Dutee, adding, “Hope the weather is more conducive in Patiala.”

Karnataka’s Vidya Sagar emerged the fastest male athlete, pushing Haryana’s Nuzrat Ali to second spot by a big margin.

It was a neck-and-neck contest between Parul and Sudha Singh in 3000m steeplechase with the former breasting the tape. The win helped Parul complete a golden double — she had also won gold in 5000m on the opening day.

There was a major goof up in the 4x400m men’s relay event with both the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams unable to finish the race. While the AFI ‘A’ team failed to finish the race as Alex Antony pulled out midway through the third leg because of muscle cramps, the AFI ‘B’ team was disqualified after AFI ‘A’ team’s fourth runner Mohammad Anas collected the baton from a ‘B’ team runner, not knowing that Antony had pulled out.

On the final day of the championships, national record holder in men’s 110m hurdles, Siddhanth Thinagalaya, couldn’t even come close to the meet record of 13.76sec, clocking 13.99 sec. He, however, managed to win gold.

“I hit the first hurdle and lost balance. After that, I lost rhythm,” said Thinagalaya, who holds the national record of 13.48 seconds. “Maymon Poulose (who finished second) was pushing hard and that actually helped me clock a decent 13.99m,” added Thingalaya.

Steeplechaser Avinash Sable of Maharashtra and long jumper M Sreeshankar of Kerala hogged the limelight, with the former erasing the existing meet record of 8:42.29 — set up by Naveen Kumar in 2014 — with a timing of 8:33.19.

Sreesankar, who is ranked 18th in the world and has qualified for the World Championships with the lunge of 8.20 metres last year, hit the sand at 7.83m on his second jump here. That was enough to win him gold.

First Published: Aug 30, 2019 21:21 IST

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