Dutee smashes meet record in heats, SSCB remain on top
Controversial teen sprinter Dutee Chand cornered glory by clinching the women’s 100m gold with a new meet record as athletes continued to raise the bar in the blue-riband track and field events of the 35th National Games here on Wednesday.
In overall standings, Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) remained the undisputed numero uno on
the 11th day of competitions with 107 medals (66 gold, 19 silver and 22 bronze). Haryana rose to the second spot with 71 medals (30 gold, 25 silver and 16 bronze) while Maharashtra slipped to third on account of lesser gold medals with a total tally 103 27 gold, 40 silver and 36 bronze).
The 100m sprints were lined up early in the evening finals and as was expected, Odisha’s Dutee displayed blazing form to break the meet record for a third time in the Games and comfortably notch up the women’s gold with an effort of 11.76sec.
“The weather here has really helped my performance, it is neither very cold nor very hot, which has helped my body to perform to the optimum. Although, I could not produce my personal best of 11.73sec but I am glad that I have managed to do so well after the good showing in the National Championships,” said the 19-year-old, who is fighting a legal battle to get an international ban on her lifted for failing a controversial gender test. Kerala’s Santhini Vallikkad stopped the clock at 11.84sec to win the silver, while Maharashtra’s Rashmi Sheregar was a close third with a timing of 11.87sec.
Among the men, Haryana’s Dharambir stunned one and all by breaching the 100m meet record of 10.52sec to snatch the gold with a timing of 10.46sec. "I was here to compete in the 200m race but when I felt that my body has acclimatised pretty well to the weather, I decided to try my luck in the 100m as well. I was not even thinking of a medal, let alone a gold,” a grinning Dharambir, who idolises Usain Bolt, said after his stunning triumph. The silver was clinched Odisha’s Amiya Mallick (10.64sec) and the bronze was grabbed by Maharashtra’s Krishnakumar Rane (10.65sec). The men’s 400m event also had a new meet record when SSCB’s Arokia Rajeev finished the race in 46.40sec to beat the previous mark of 46.97sec set by Paramjit Singh back in 1997. He finished way ahead of the field in which, Haryana’s Lalit Mathur (47.04sec) and West Bengal’s Chandan Bauri (47.41) ended up being the respective silver and bronze medal winners.
There was a slight glitch at the start of the women’s 400m race when the starter gun malfunctioned, prompting the organisers to assemble the athletes all over again. But once they were off the mark, Kerala’s Anilda Thomas left everyone behind to win the gold medal in a meet record-equalling 52.71sec, which was set by K M Beenamol in 2001. Another Keralite, Anu Raghavan, settled for a silver after finishing the race in 54.38sec, followed by Haryana’s Nirmala (55.19sec).
A new meet record was also set in women’s pole vault when Tamil Nadu’s Surekha Babu touched the 4m mark for the first time in the history of the Games. Surekha cleared excatly 4m to clinch the gold. Kerala pocketed the silver and bronze through Dija Cherian (3.60m) and Sinju Prakash (3.40m).
The 1500m men’s race was won by Uttarakhand’s Ravinder Tautela (3:51.96sec) ahead of Kerala’s Sajeesh Joseph (3:52.08sec). Haryana’s Sandeep got the bronze with a timing of 3:52.25sec. In women’s long jump event, Kerala’s Neena Varakil took home the gold medal by clearing 6.39m, followed by statemate Prajusha Antony (6.25m) and Punjab’s Bhumika Thakur (6.23m).
SSCB’s Dharamraj Yadav was crowned the new men’s discus throw champion after he hurled the discus to 57.44m. Haryana’s Arjun (56.85m) and Punjab’s Baljinder Singh (52.40m) had to be content with silver and bronze. The 20km racewalk was won by Punjab’s Baljinder Singh who clocked 1:26:24.20sec to set a new meet record.