Patiala, Aug 19 IANS | 1 month ago

The curtain came down in style on the final day of the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships 2014 with hurdler Siddhanth Thingalaya breaking his own national record, set four years ago, at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) here Tuesday.


Siddhanth clocked 13.65 seconds to win the gold medal and break the national record of 13.81 secs he had set here four years ago. He had clocked 13.93 secs against a strong head-wind during the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow when he finished third in his heats but failed to qualify for the final.

A perfect start here Tuesday helped the ONGC hurdler to equal his mark of 13.65 secs which he had earlier clocked to finish second in the Belgian National Championships at Brussels in 2012.

Meanwhile, Premkumar, representing Telangana, posted 13.96 secs for the silver Tamil Nadu's Surendhar timed 14.24s to be in third place.

As in the men's section the line-up for women's 100m hurdles also witnessed a galaxy of strong athletes fighting for the top spot.

Tamil Nadu's junior talent Deepika surged past ahead of her experienced compatriots right from the start. Having cleared the last hurdle together with K.V. Sajitha and M.M. Anchu, Deepika lost her balance in the last few metres and nose-dived right across the finish-line. The photo-finish revealed Anchu taking the gold in 13.80 while Deepika settled in silver place just one hundredth of a second behind. Kerala's Sajitha went home with a bronze medal in 13.86 secs.

In yet another close combat, Kerala quarter-miler Kunhu Mohammed piped Tamil Nadu star Arokia Rajiv at the post 46.40 to 46.41 secs, to win the men's 400m title. As expected M.R. Poovamma pocketed the gold in women's race, clocking 52.42 secs. With three other women finishing under 54 seconds the Indian athletes showed their readiness ready to repeat another golden act in the Asian Games at Incheon.

Two strong 200m finals in the evening had TN boy Manikanda Arumuguam (21.21s) and Bengal girl Asha Roy (23.89s) clinch the top spots in men and women sections respectively.

Fresh from his bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games, Arpinder Singh overcame initial hiccups to win the triple jump in 16.70m. National record-holder Renjith Maheswary (16.43m) and A.V. Rakesh Babu (16.15m) settled with the minor places.

Rajasthan's Delhi CWG gold medalist Krishna Poonia asserted her position right from the first round in women's discus throw to win the title with 56.84m while IAAF World Junior Championships bronze medalist Navjeet Kaur Dhillon hurled the disc to 53.26.

Another experienced athlete, 31-year-old O.P. Jaisha, representing hosts Punjab, went on to clock a personal best 4:09.14 in women's 1500m. With Commonwealth and Asian bronze medals already in her kitty, Jaisha's performance proved that distance runners have a longer career than track stars. Incidentally, her previous best of 4:11.83 came eight years ago! Kerala's Jinson Johnson won the men's title from a strong field in a nondescript 3:52.60.

In the hammer throw, UP lad Chandrodaya Narayan Singh improved his meet mark to 67.84m to win from arch-rival Kamalpreet Singh (66.78m). Earlier in the morning, reigning Asian Games champion Preeja Sreedharn took the women's 10k title in 34:27.94 while former Asian junior double gold medalist Rahul Kumar Pal snatched the men's title in 30:04.77 just ahead of Tamil Nadu's G. Lakshmanan, who timed a close 30:05.20 in second spot.

Tamil Nadu took the overall (125 points) and men's (82) championships whereas Kerala were champions in women's section with 57 points, as well as runners-up overall (121). The ONGC team was adjudged runners-up in both the sections with 65.5 (men) and 55 (women) respectively. Hurdler Siddhanth Thingalaya and star 400m runner M.R. Poovamma (both representing ONGC) have been declared as best athletes in their respective divisions.

(Posted on 19-08-2014)

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