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Mumbai's Thingalaya equals own national record, books ticket for Asian Games

Patiala: Siddhanth Thingalaya booked himself an Asian Games ticket after equaling his own national record in the men's 110m hurdles as the Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships concluded, here today. Thingalaya, representing ONGC, clocked 13.65secs to equal his own national record which he set in Brussels in 2012, also bettering his own meet mark of 13.69secs.

Siddhanth Thingalaya
Siddhanth Thingalaya 

K Prem Kumar of Telangana was a distant second in 13.96 while Surendhar of Tamil Nadu was third in 14.24secs. The Athletics Federation of India had set a qualifying standard of 13.77secs for the Asian Games. For Thingalaya, it was an achievement of sorts to equal the national record considering the slow track on offer at the NIS here and the humid conditions. "It was a surprise for me. I did not expect to equal my own national record.

I am happy," Thingalaya said later. Asian Games medal prospect Arpinder Singh of ONGC won the men's triple jump easily with an effort of 16.70m, beating his senior colleague Renjith Maheswary (16.43m) in a much anticipated contest. Arpinder, who won a bronze in the recently-concluded Glasgow CWG, also holds the national record of 17.17m. He is also the Asian leader this season. The AFI qualifying standard for the event for Asian Games is 16.56m.

In the second top draw event of the day, 2010 CWG gold medallist and national record holder from Rajasthan, Krishna Poonia won the women s discus thrower with an effort 56.84m while World Junior Championships bronze winner Navjeet Kaur Dhillon of ONGC was second with 53.26m. Poonia's effort was below the 57.55m qualifying mark set by the AFI and the selection committee will have to take a call on it.

Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist Seema Punia skipped the meet. N Chandrodaya Singh of Uttar Pradesh then bettered his own meet record of 67.78m in men s hammer throw with an effort of 67.84m. Kamalpreet Singh of ONGC was second in 66.78m while Neeraj Kumar of Indian Navy was third with 66.71m. Sushmita Singha Roy of West Bengal won the women s heptathlon event with an aggregate of 5402 points from the seven events while Swapna Barman (5400), also of West Bengal, and Liksy Joseph (5351) of Madhya Pradesh were second and third respectively. 14 meet records were broken in the Championships besides Thingalaya s national record equaling effort. Thingalaya was adjudged the best male athlete while the honour of best woman athlete went to M R Poovamma who won the 400m race.

Tamil Nadu won the overall team championships with 125 points while Kerala finished second with 121 points. Tamil Nadu also won the men s team championships with 82 points while Kerala bagged the women s team championships with 57 points. As expected, M R Poovamma of won the women s 400m race in 52.42secs and earned a ticket for the Asian Games by bettering the AFI qualifying mark of 52.99secs.

Priyanka Panwar of Uttar Pradesh was second in 53.40 while Debashree Majumdar of West Bengal was third in 53.79secs. Mandeep Kaur, who was a member of the 4x400m gold winning quartet in the 2010 Asian Games, was fourth in 53.97secs in her first competitive race after ending a two-year suspension due to a dope offence last year. The other member of the quartet Ashwini Akkunji, whom also served a similar two year ban along with Mandeep, was a poor fifth in 54.19secs.

It was a close finish in the men s 400m race with Kunhu Muhammad pipping favourite Rajiv Arokia to second place in a timing of 46.40 secs, which should put him in chance for a place in the Asian Games team (AFI qualifying mark 46.34). Rajiv Arokia was second in 46.41 while Jibin Sebastian was third in 47.28. Indian Navy won the men s 4x400m relay race in a meet record of 3:11.44 though the timing is way below AFI standard of 3:06.49.

In the morning session, 2010 Asian Games gold medallist Preeja Sreedharan of Kerala won the women s 10000m race in 34:27.94 in a mediocre show. Swati Gadhave of Maharashtra was second in 36:28.46 while Monika Athare, also of Maharashtra, was third in 36:44.15. Shreedharan holds the national record of 31:50.47 as well as the meet mark of 32:56.58.

Her gold-winning performance today was also below the AFI qualifying mark of 32:39.13. In men s 10000m race, Rahul Kumar of Maharashtra bagged the gold in 30:04.77 while Laxman of Tamil Nadu and Kheta Ram of Rajasthan were second and third in 30:05.20 and 30:08.98 respectively. The electronic scoreboard at the finishing line created some flutter as it showed 12.57secs for the winner of the women s 100m hurdles, which would have put her among the top performers in the world. M M Anchu of Jharkhand eventually won the women s 100m hurdles in 13.80secs. The electronic scoreboard showed a faulty timing for the second time when it showed 20.53secs for the winner of the men s 200m race. Manikananda Arumugam of Tamil Nadu won the race in 21.12secs while Velayutham, also of Tamil Nadu, and M G Joseph of Manipur were second and third in 21.83secs and 21.87secs respectively. The women s 200m race was won by Asha Roy of West Bengal in 23.89secs, one-hundredth of a second better than the AFI qualifying standard of 23.90secs. Srabani Nanda of Odisha was second in 24.02 secs while Archana was third in 24.94secs.

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