Amlan Borgohain of Assam scorched the track to set a new men’s 200m National record by clocking 20.52 seconds on a rain-hit final day in the 25th AFI National Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships, here on Wednesday.
In the thrilling women’s 200m final, Hima Das (Assam) held back a challenge from Aishwarya Kailash Mishra (Maharashtra) and Priya H Mohan (Karnataka). Hima Das stopped the clock in 23.63 seconds to win by one-hundredth of a second from 400m champion Aishwarya. Priya H Mohan, who did not compete in the 400m, settled for third place in a personal best time.
The 23-year-old Amlan sank Muhammed Anas Yahiya’s existing mark of 20.63 seconds in a race that saw the top three finish inside 21 seconds. However, it was only Amlan Borgohain who matched the Asian Games qualifying standard set by the Athletics Federation of India. Having run successive sub-21-second races in September and March, he gave proof of his progress.
Avinash Sable, known to break national records in the Steeplechase, rewrote the men’s 5000m meet record with a fine effort over 13:39.43 that raised expectation that he could soon be claiming the national record standing in the name of Bahadur Prasad since June 27, 1992. Kartik Kumar’s bid for the distance double came unstuck in the face of Sable’s run.
The top three finishers, including Uttar Pradesh’s Abhishek Pal met the Asian Games qualification criteria set by AFI. Running his maiden competitive race over the distance at the national level, Sable became the fourth fastest Indian in the 12-1/2-lap race. In fact, it was the fastest 5000m by an Indian on home soil.
The Triple Jump saw a pulsating contest with Eldhose Paul (Kerala) breaking a 10-year-old meet mark when he leapt 16.99m to claim gold. On a day when Praveen Chithravel (Tamil Nadu) and Karthik Unnikrishnan (Kerala) also secured qualification marks for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Eldhose Paul won by a comfortable margin.
Two 31-year-old Hammer Throwers, Sarita Romit Singh (Uttar Pradesh) and Manju Bala Singh (Rajasthan) produced a riveting contest. Having traded the National Record over the last so many years, they fought tooth and nail on Wednesday. Manju Bala Singh led with 63.12m on her third try but Sarita Romit Singh won gold with 64.16m on her fifth attempt.
Manju Bala Singh also came up with a 64m throw on her last try but had to settle for silver. They pushed one another so competitively that it was the first time that both breached the 64m in the same competition. They also earned qualification marks for the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.
There was a similar contest in the men’s 400m Hurdles final, MP Jabir (Kerala) and T Santhosh Kumar (Tamil Nadu) coming home inside 51 seconds while Dhaval Mahesh Utekar (Gujarat) beat the fancied Ayyasamy Dharun (Tamil Nadu) to the bronze medal. The seasoned Anu Raghavan beat her younger Kerala team-mate R Arathi to the women’s 400m Hurdles gold.
The results (finals):
200m: 1. Amlan Borgohain (Assam) 20.52 seconds (New National & Meet Records. Old NR: 20.63, Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Jalonec, August 15, 2018. Old MR: 20.79, Anand Menezes, Chennai, 2002); 2. Akash Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) 20.89; 3. Muhammed Ajmal (Kerala) 20.92.
5000m: 1. Avinash Sable (Maharashtra) 13:39.43 (New Meet Record. Old: 13:47.28, G Lakshmanan, Patiala, 2018); 2. Kartik Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) 13:48.59; 3. Abhishek Pal (Uttar Pradesh) 13:48.99.
400m Hurdles: 1. MP Jabir (Kerala) 50.35 seconds; 2. T Santhosh Kumar (Tamil Nadu) 50.72; 3. Dhaval Mahesh Utekar (Gujarat) 51.58.
Triple Jump: 1. Eldhose Paul (Kerala) 16.99m (New Meet Record. Old: 16.85, Renjith Maheshwary, Patiala, 2012); 2. Praveen Chithravel (Tamil Nadu) 16.84; 3. Karthik Unnikrishnan (Kerala) 16.81.
Hammer Throw: 1. Deepak (Haryana) 60.83m; 2. Bajinder Singh (Punjab) 59.62; 3. Gurdev Singh (Punjab) 59.39.
200m: 1. Hima Das (Assam) 23.63 seconds; 2. Aishwarya Kailash Mishra (Maharashtra) 23.64; 3. Priya H Mohan (Karnataka) 23.85.
5000m: 1. Parul Chaudhary (Uttar Pradesh) 15:39.77; 2. Seema (Himachal Pradesh) 15:40.60; 3. Sanjivani Babur Jadhav (Maharashtra) 15:42.80.
400m Hurdles: 1. Anu Raghavan (Kerala) 58.63 seconds; 2. Arathi R (Kerala) 59.44; 3. Simmy (Haryana) 59.87.
Hammer Throw: 1. Sarita Romit Singh (Uttar Pradesh) 64.16m; 2. Manju Bala Singh (Rajasthan) 64.01; 3. Tanya Chaudhary (Uttar Pradesh) 59.84.