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Poovamma, Joseph win silver medals in Asian Athletics C’ships

Poovamma and Joseph

Wuhan (China): Quarter-miler Machettira Raju Poovamma and heptathlete Liksy Joseph won a silver each as India added four medals on the second day of the 21st Asian Athletics Championships here today.

Poovamma, who had also won a silver in the last edition in 2013, clocked 53.07 secs in women’s 400m finals to finish second behind China’s Yang Huizhen (52.37) and was followed by Anastasiya Kudinova (53.41) of Kazakhstan.

Joseph, who was trailing at sixth place at the end of opening day yesterday, cleared 6.19m in long jump today to move up to third place. Although she could not do well in javelin throw, Liksy won the 800m race, the last of her seven events, with a time of 2:13.44 and that brought her the silver medal with personal best of 5,554 points.

Teammate and former Asian junior champion Purnima Hembram got the bronze with 5511 points.

G Lakshmanan got a bronze medal in a hard fought men’s 5000m race with a personal best of 13:36.62. Lakshmanan, employed with Indian Army, improved his previous best by almost 14 seconds.

The women’s sprint relay quartet of Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, G M Padmini and Sini Sahadevan missed a medal by finishing fourth with a time of 45.72 secs.

The men’s 4x100m relay team finished sixth in 39.67 secs and Manikanda Arumugam, who was controversially included in the relay squad, did not run the race. Jyotishankar Debnath, Krishnakumar Rane, Amiya Kumar Mallick and Abdul Najeeb Qureshi ran the race.

There was also disappointment in men’s long jump as both Ankit Sharma (7.76m) and Kumaravel Premkumar (7.69m) finished outside the podium in fourth and fifth places. Local lad Gao Xinglong (7.96m), Ted Hooper of Chinese-Taipei (7.80m) and Tang Chen of China (7.79m) bagged the gold, silver and bronze respectively.

With the four medals today, India’s medal tally has swelled to one gold, two silver and two bronze. Yesterday, Inderjeet Singh had bagged a gold in men’s shot put event to open India’s medal account.

In the men’s 400m race, Asian Games bronze medalist Arokya Rajeev could manage only a seventh place finish in 46.65 secs.

Qatar’s promising youngster Abdalelah Haroun clocked 44.68 secs to upset Asian record holder and defending champion Youssef Al-Masrahi of Saudi Arabia (45.15) to win the gold.

In other events, Anu Raghavan qualified for women’s 400m hurdles final clocking 59.28 secs as she finished fourth in heat number 2. However, Youth Olympic Games silver medalist Durgesh Kumar Pal crashed out in the men’s 400m heats.

In the most anticipated event of the day, Nigerian-born Qatar sprinter Femi Ogunode improved his Asian record in men’s 100m dash as he clocked 9.91 secs to win the gold ahead of home favourite Zhang Peimeng (10.15) and Iranian Reza Ghazemi (10.19).

Japan’s Chisato Fukushima took the title in women’s 100m race with a wind-aided (+2.5 m/s) 11.23 secs. Kazakhstan’s Viktoryia Zyabkina (11.34) and China’s Wei Yongli (11.46) were the other medalists in the event. India’s Srabani Nanda finished fifth by clocking 11.48 secs.

UAE runner Betlhem Desalegn made it a double by winning 5000m in 15:25.15. Yesterday she won 1500m race.

Tajikistan’s triple Asian Games winner Dilshod Nazarov made it easy in the hammer throw with a moderate 77.68m while former Asian junior champion Zhang Wei won the pole vault event by scaling 5.60m.

China made a clean sweep in women’s discus throw with Su Xinyue taking the top spot by hurling the disc to 63.90m.

Qatar’s Mohamed Al-Garni became the second runner to secure a golden double in the ongoing championships with a season best 13:34.47 effort in men’s 5000m race.

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