Saturday , 23 March 2019

Silver each for Dharun, Sudha and Neena in athletics

JAKARTA: Dharun Ayyasamy (400m h), Sudha Singh (women’s 3000m SC) and Neena Varakil (long jump) finished second in their respective events to claim a silver each in the athletics competition of the 18th Asian Games here on Monday.

Sudha Singh clocked 3000m steeplechase with a timing of 9:40.03. Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi won gold with a timing of 9:36:52.

Eight years ago, Sudha had won gold at the Guangzhou Games and finished fourth in Incheon 2014.

Dharun Ayyasamy clocked a personal best timing of 48.96 seconds behind Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba, who took gold with a Games record timing of 47.66.

The other Indian in the fray, Santhosh Kumar Tamilarasan, was fifth with 49.66 seconds.

Two-time Olympian, Sudha had qualified for the Asian Games with a timing of 9:39:59, well above the Asian qualifying norm of 9:50.

Neena Varakil won silver in long jump with a mark of 6.51m, behind Indonesia’s Thi Thu Thao Bui, who won gold with a jump of 6.55m.

Another Indian in the fray Nayana James finished 10th with 6.14m.

A visible thrilled Dharun said: “I didn’t run well, I couldn’t improve upon my performance of 49.45 in March. I have been preparing for the Asian Games for the past one year so I came here hoping to break the national record.”

The 21-year-old from Tirupur (Tamil Nadu), Dharun said, “I wasn’t looking at the first guy (Samba) because I knew he has among the fastest timings, instead I just foucused on the Japanese guy Takatoshi Abe, who finished third today and told myself I have to go past him.”

“I managed to do that, I came here with just the thought of wanting to make it as 49s national record. I will focus on that in the upcoming tournaments,” he added.

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