Du­tee bet­ters na­tional mark

Scripts Feat With Tim­ing Of 11.22; Amiya Finds Way Back To Gold

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

Ranchi: A lit­tle less than a fornight ago, Du­tee Chand fin­ished the heats at a heart­break­ing sev­enth place and lost the chance of a berth in the fi­nals of the World Cham­pi­onships in Doha. But on Fri­day, at Birsa Munda Sta­dium in Ranchi, she reignited her hopes for a place in the Tokyo Olympics by set­ting a new na­tional record in the mar­quee sprint event with a tim­ing of 11.22 sec­onds, 0.26 sec­onds faster than her dis­ap­point­ing run at the Worlds.

The record time, set in the semi­fi­nals of the 59th Na­tional Open Athletics, fi­nally gave her sole own­er­ship of the na­tional record — af­ter she had equalled the long­stand­ing time of 11.26 by Ra­chita Mistry in 2000, at the Asian Cham­pi­onships in April this year. Du­tee clocked 11.25 sec­onds in the fi­nal on Fri­day, leav­ing Ar­chana Suseen­dran and Hi­mashree Roy in the wake.

The per­for­mance will come as a con­so­la­tion to the 22-year-old, who had man­aged 11.48 in Doha. A time of 11.22 sec­onds – or even 11.25 sec­onds in the heats – would have seen her se­cure a semi­fi­nal berth there. “A cou­ple of days ago, I had the wrong be­lief that my body was tired at the end of the sea­son. I re­cov­ered well to be able to break the last na­tional mark twice this evening,” she said, af­ter win­ning the fi­nal with a mea­sure of com­fort.

Her Odisha state­m­ate Amiya Ku­mar Ma­lik, who has been wait­ing through the whole sea­son and more to find his rhythm and that elu­sive gold medal, won the brag­ging rights as the fastest man at the cham­pi­onships. He won the men’s 100m in 10.46 sec­onds, break­ing the beam a hun­dredth of a sec­ond ahead of Malaysia’s Jonathan Anak Nyepa. The photo-fin­ish cam­eras had to iden­tify Gurindervi­r Singh (Pun­jab) as the win­ner of the bronze medal by a mar­gin of 0.0044 sec­onds from his team­mate Harjit Singh. But it was the man­ner in which Amiya Ma­lik stormed to the fin­ish that caught ev­ery­one’s eye. For some­one who had not gone un­der 10.50 sec­onds in a long while, he will cher­ish this drought-end­ing vic­tory.

MP Jabir (AFI) once again stamped his au­thor­ity on the men’s 400m hur­dles meet record, win­ning the fi­nal in 49.41 sec­onds. He im­proved on the mark of 49.67 sec­onds set by Ayyasamy Dharun (Tamil Nadu) last year. Dharun him­self, run­ning only his third hur­dles race since re­cov­er­ing from an in­jury, will be pleased that he clocked 49.50 sec­onds for the sec­ond place, leav­ing T San­thosh Ku­mar (Ser­vices) in the third place.

Ear­lier, in a close fin­ish, Haryana’s Rahul Ro­hilla, 23, won the men’s 20m race walk­ing head of the more sea­soned K Gana­p­athi (AFI) and San­deep Ku­mar (Ser­vices). The Group B win­ner of the event in the Na­tional Race Walk­ing Cham­pi­onship in Chen­nai in Fe­bru­ary, he fin­ished on top of a bet­ter field this time.


Du­tee Chand cel­e­brates her win on Fri­day

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