Gold medals for Ajit, Kamalraj at Asian Junior Athletics

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Gifu (Japan), June 10 (IANS) Ajit Kumar and Kamalraj Kanagaraj won gold medals in the men’s 5000 metres and triple jump events respectively as India finished third with 17 medals at the Asian Junior Athletics Championships here on Sunday.

Ajit produced a personal best of 14:15.24 minutes to ease to the title ahead of Japanese Ren Tazawa (14:17.26) and Iranian Seyedamir Zamanpour (14:25.25).

Kamalraj jumped 15.75 metres to claim the top spot ahead of South Korean Yu Gyumin (15.56m) and Japanese Syunsuke Izumiya (15.47m). Allahabad’s Ajit improved on his previous best time of 14:38.10 recorded at the Federation Cup in Patiala in March this year.

Kamalraj suffered an injury scare and walked away from the competition after suffering ankle pain on his third of six attempts at the Gifu Nagaragawa Stadium. However, just his first jump of 15.75m was more than enough to seal victory.

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Apart from the two gold medals on the day, the Indian women’s 4x400m team claimed a silver while Jisna Mathew took home her second individual medal and third overall of the competition — a bronze — in the women’s 200m race.

The Indian relay squad, comprising Jisna Mathew, Subha Venkatesan, Nidhi Yogendra Singh and Rachna, clocked a time of 3:41.11 seconds.

They finished nearly three seconds behind the Japanese relay squad of Ayano Shiomi, Kasumi Yoshida, Natsumi Murakami and Ayaka Kawata who set a new championship record with a time of 3:38.20 seconds. The third spot went to Sri Lanka whose quartet clocked 3:45.16 seconds.

Jisna, who had won a gold medal in the women’s 400m earlier in the competition, extended her good performance with a bronze medal in the 200m.

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Jisna fell short of her personal best of 23.97 seconds as she clocked 24.48 seconds to finish behind China’s Yanan Tao (24.01 seconds) and and Sri Lanka’s Amasha De Silva (24.47 seconds).

At the end of the four-day meet, India finished with a tally of five gold, two silver and 10 bronze medals.

Japan claimed the top spot with 42 medals (14 gold, 15 silver, 13 bronze), while China was second with 23 medals (11 gold, eight silver, four bronze).

–IANS

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