Thiruvananthapuram:: Avinash Sable set a men’s 3000m Steeplechase National Record to headline a string of good performances in the Indian Grand Prix 2 Athletics competition here at the Chandrasekharan Nair Police Stadium on Wednesday.
Quartermiler Priya H Mohan and Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur shared top honours in the women’s events.
Competing for the first time since the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year, a languid Avinash Sable (Maharashtra) stayed on the heels of Balkishan (Haryana) who set a good pace from the start. The Olympian shifted gears with three laps to go and came home in 8:16.21, shaving off 1.91 seconds from his own record set in Tokyo.
Trailing Kerala team-mate Abdulla Aboobacker until the midway stage of the men’s Triple Jump competition Eldhose Paul came up with a personal best effort of 16.95m to claim gold. In fact, each of his last three efforts – 16.74, 16.95 and 16.76 – was good enough to get him the title ahead of Abdulla Aboobacker’s best of 16.70.
Kamalpreet Kaur had two throws past the 60m mark, with her sixth and final effort producing the best result for her. Having got to 60.15m on her third attempt, the winning distance of 61.39m will give the confidence, going into a busy year in which the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games dot the calendar.
There seems to be no stopping Priya H Mohan’s rise as the best women’s 400m sprinter. She beat the vastly experienced MR Poovamma to second place yet again. Jisna Mathew strained her every sinew to claim the bronze medal on a day when Karnataka’s NS Inchara dipped home inside 54 seconds for the first time and beat VK Vismaya in the process.
Priya Mohan clocked a personal best time of 52.37 seconds, a 0.21-second improvement over her previous best secured in the Inter-University Championships in Bhubaneshwar last month. Poovamma made the most of the younger runner’s pace and came up with her fastest time since winning a race in Bydgoszcz in Poland in 52.31 seconds on June 24, 2016.
The men’s quarter-mile produced some sparks as well with 21-year-old Rajesh Ramesh (Tamil Nadu) stunning Kerala’s Noah Nirmal Tom with a burst of speed on the home stretch. Rajesh Ramesh finished in a personal best time of 46.09 seconds, improving on the 46.35 that he clocked in finishing third in the Indian Grand Prix 1 on March 13. (ANI)