Neeraj, Poovamma, Annu win gold in Indian Grand Prix Athletics
NEW DELHI: Top athletes Neeraj Chopra, MR Poovamma and Annu Rani clinched gold in their respective events at the second leg of the Indian Grand Prix Athletics meet on Thursday. World junior record holder javelin thrower (भाला फेंकने वाला) Neeraj Chopra grabbed(पकड़ा) a gold with a moderate best effort of 80.49m under hot and humid conditions at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The Haryana athlete, who holds the national record of 86.48m, which he created last year during the World Junior Championships, has already qualified for the IAAF World Championships to be held in London in August. Abhishek Singh of Uttar Pradesh was second with 74.65m while Samarjeet Singh of Rajasthan was third with 72.95m. In women's javelin, national record holder Annu Rani of UP won the gold with a best throw of 59.75m while K Rashmi of Karnataka and Pegu Runjun were distant second and third with 47.38m and 44.14m respectively.
Annu holds the official national record of 59.53m and her effort today was better than that. She also has two efforts (प्रयासों) of 59.87m and 60.01m (both of last year) but these are yet to be ratified(की पुष्टि की) by the Athletics Federation of India. Top quartermiler Poovamma Raju clocked 52.66s to clinch the gold in the women's 400m race while Kerala's Jisna Matthew (52.67s) got the silver after finishing behind by just 0.01sec. The bronze medal went to Bengal's Debashree Mazumdar (54.00s).
Poovamma missed the World Championships qualifying standard of 52.10sec by more than half a second. In the Men's 400m event, Rajiv Aroka of Tamil Nadu clinched the gold with the timing of 46. 94s. Delhi's Amoj Jacob grabbed the silver (47.07s) while the bronze was captured by Sachin Roby in 47.32s.
Odisha athlete Amiya Kumar Mallick won the men's 100m dash in 10.62s. Safikul Mondal (10.72s) and Shalin (10.81s) grabbed the silver and bronze respectively.
Rio Olympian Ankit Sharma of Madhya Pradesh clinched the gold in men's long jump with an effort of 7.71m, improving his performance of 7.68m in first leg four days ago at Patiala. S Shamsheer of Karnataka jumped for a distance of 7.63m to win the silver while Baljinder Singh of Punjab settled for the bronze with a distance of 7.33m.
The women's 100m dash was won by Merlin K Joseph of Kerala in 11.72. The men's shot put gold went to Saurabh Vij of ONGC with an effort of 18.83m while the yellow metal in men's triple jump was clinched by Arpinder Singh of Punjab with an effort of 16.19m.