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Maheswary heads Indian gold spree in Asian All-Star Athletics

New Delhi : National record holder triple jumper Renjith Maheswary led the Indian gold medal charge as the home athletes faced little challenge from their opponents on the concluding day of the Asian All-Star Athletics Meet which was skipped by top continental athletes, on July 30.

Maheswary expectedly clinched gold with an impressive performance of 16.74m, shade below his national mark of 17.04m. Kazakhstan's Yevgenily Ektov (16.69m) and compatriot Roman Valiyev (16.67m) were second and third respectively.

Other top Indians, man shot putter Om Prakash and woman discus thrower Krishna Poonia bagged gold as there was not much competition with most of the top Asian athletes skipping the meet, which offered total prize money of $70,000.

But, national record holder 400m hurdler Joseph Abraham finished second with a 50.87 sec effort, more than a second below his national mark of 49.51 sec. Abraham, who was selected for Arjuna Award on Friday, slowed down at the home stretch after a strong start.

Japanese Koike Takayuki won gold with a timing of 50.08 sec while another Indian Avin Thomas won bronze with 50.89 sec. India added six gold, four silver and four bronze today to take their total medal tally to 31 in the meet. They had won six gold, five silver and six bronze on July 29. The home country ended the two-day competition on 12 gold, nine silver and 10 bronze.

Shorn of top athletes, the meet did not witness tough competition among the participants with only two personal best efforts -- from Tintu Luka in women's 800m and Mayookha Johny in women's long jump, both performances on July 29.

In men's shot put, Commonwealth Games medal prospect Om Prakash won gold with a throw of 19.74m though below his best of 20.02m. Compatriot Saurabh Vij won silver with 19.09m while Iran's Amin Abrahim Paul (18.65m) was third.

Poonia, who won Arjuna Award on July 30; expectedly won the women's discus throw event with an effort of 60.93m while compatriots Harwant Kaur (58.73m) and national record holder Seema Antil (54.21) were second and third respectively.

In women's 400m hurdle, India's Jauna Murmu won gold with an impressive timing of 57.39 sec, which is the fifth fastest in Asia this season. Uzbekistan's Asanova Natalya won silver clocking 59.17 sec while Thi Bac Nguyen of Vietnam bagged the bronze with 1:00.64 sec.

Veteran Sinimole Paulose, who was beaten by Tintu Luka in women's 800m on July 29, bagged the gold in 1500m with an effort of 4:19.00, nearly three seconds outside her personal best of 4:15.42. Uzbekistan's Ekaterina Tunguskova was second with 4:26.01 while Iranian Javeri Leila Ebrahimimo won bronze with 4:34.11.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Shehan Sdaruwan Abepitiage and Guzel Khubbieva became the fastest man and woman in the meet respectively. Abepitiage clocked 10.49 sec to win men's 100m sprint while Guzel Khubbieva of Uzbekistan timed 11.63 sec to win the women's 100m dash event. None of the Indians who made up half of the competition in both the events failed to finish for the podium.
Posted On : 02 Aug 10
Maheswary heads Indian gold spree in Asian All-Star Athletics
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