Inderjeet clinches gold in National Athletics
Inderjeet heaved the iron ball to 20.44m to easily finish on top and win his eighth gold medal on the trot in six months at the Nehru Stadium here.
Starting with the gold in National Games in February, Inderjeet had won the Federation Cup title in Mangalore in May. After winning the Asian Championship in China, Inderjeet clinched a hat-trick of title wins in the three Grand Prix Series -- in Bangkok, <g data-gr-id="46">Panthumthani</g> and Chanthaburi -- in Thailand last month.
He then finished on top in the World University Games shot put event earlier this month to become the first Indian ever to win a gold in athletics in the World Universiade. He has already qualified for next month’s World Championship in China when he won his gold medal in Mangalore Federation cup with a throw of 20.65m.
Inderjeet, who was <g data-gr-id="42">cynosure</g> of all eyes here, started the event with <g data-gr-id="41">a 18.41m</g> and improved upon it to 19.25m in his second throw. His fourth attempt was indicative of his intentions as he cleared 19.70m as his other two competitors were struggling to cross even the 18m mark.
After dipping slightly with a throw of 19.36m in the fifth attempt, Inderjeet came up with a mark of 20.44m which was a new meet mark and he was adjudged as the best athlete of the meet. The old meet record stood in the name of his statemate Sakthi Singh at 20.42m set in 2000.
Incidentally, Inderjeet also remained the lone athlete to create a meet record in this four-day event which also served as the qualifying meet for the World Championships.
Karnataka’s M R Poovamma won her fifth straight title in women’s 400m clocking 52.78 <g data-gr-id="34">secs,</g> while Tamil Nadu’s Rajiv Arokia claimed the men’s 400m gold clocking 45.72 sec. Poovamma was declared as the best women athlete of the meet.
Arokia and Poovamma, however, failed to touch the World Championships qualification standard.
In men’s 110m hurdles, Prem Kumar opened new entrant <g data-gr-id="40">Telengana’s</g> gold medal with a time of 14.39 secs followed by Pinto Mathew (Kerala) 14.43s and J Thiyagarajan (TN) 15.11s.
Kerala (177.5 points) won the overall championship title followed by Tamil Nadu (146.5 points). Haryana (99 points) won the men’s title and Tamil Nadu finished runners-up with 76 points.