Kundan sets new meet record in pole vault

Services’ Kundan set a new meet record in pole vault, clearing a height of 5.06m on Day One of the season-ending ONGC 54th National Open Athletics Championships here on Sunday. He bettered the previous mark set by V.V. Geesh Kumar.

“I wanted to better the National mark (5.13), not for myself but to try and improve the Indian standard. Also, bettering the national mark might have helped get me into the National camp, where facilities are better,” said Kundan.

Gold for Manpreet

In the women’s shot put, Manpreet Kaur, who came up with a personal best of 16.39m, won gold. Navjeet Kaur managed 15.22m for silver.

In the absence of Preeja Sreedharan, O.P. Jaisha was favourite to win the race but was pushed till the end by teammate L. Surya in the women’s 5000m.

“I was desperate to win the gold for Railways because it helps us a lot. Whether in training or otherwise, we get a lot of support from our employer, so producing results for it is very important.

Preeja’s absence made it an easier race but her presence would have helped improve my timing. However, since I have already qualified for the World Championships in 5000m, I am now concentrating mainly on the 1,500,” Jaisha said.

Asiad medallist Manju Bala did not participate in hammer throw while Khusbir Kaur pulled out of the 20km walk after the halfway mark.

Meet record holder Deepmala Devi, too, finished a disappointing fourth.

Among the men, Gurmeet Singh finished third while meet record holder Babu Bhai Panucha ended way down the order.

The results:

Men: 5000m: 1. Nitender Singh (SSCB, 14:16.28), 2. Kheta Ram (SSCB, 14:16.67), 3. Man Singh (SSCB, 14:17.39); 20km walk: 1. Manish Singh Rawat (UTK, 1:33:17), 2. Chandan Singh (SSCB, 1:34:36), 3. Gurmeet Singh (UTK, 1:35:01); Pole vault: 1. Kundan (SSCB, 5.06m), 2. Praveen Kumar (ONGC, 4.90m), 3. Balakrishna (RSPB, 4.85m).

Women: 5000m: 1. O.P. Jaisha (RSPB, 16:13.61), 2. L. Surya (RSPB, 16:19.99), 3. Kavita Raut (ONGC, 16:32.03).

20km walk: 1. Sapna (AIPSCB, 1:49:58), 2. Rani Yadav (RSPB, 1:52:29), 3. Rajni (AIPSCB, 1:52:48).

Shot put: 1. Manpreet Kaur (RSPB, 16.39m), 2. Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (ONGC, 15.22m), 3. Neha Singh (AIPSCB, 13.48m); Hammer throw: 1. Gunjan Singh (RSPB, 58.38m), 2. Rity Dhiman (UP, 56.26m), 3. Sarita P. Singh (RSPB, 55.65m).



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