27 SEP 1999 General News

It’s gold almost all the way for India

It’s gold almost all the way for India

28 September 1999 - Kathmandu, (AFP) - India added to their South Asian Federation Games treasure chest here on Tuesday taking all but two of seven golds up for grabs including a record-shattering performance by Sunita Rani in the women's 10,000 and 1500 metres.

Rani clocked 34min 38.72sec breaking the previous Games 10,000m record by 64 seconds.

Sri Lanka's Sejeewa Nilmini finished second in 36:00.46 to prevent an Indian 1-2 with Rani's teammate Pushpa Devi third in 37:37.46.

Rani came back in the afternoon for her second gold and another record taking the 1500m in 4:14.23 well ahead of team mate M.A. Molly, taking more than five seconds off the previous mark.

The highlight of the day was the women's 200m final show-casing two stars - Damayanthi Darsha of Sri Lanka and P.T Usha of India.

Darsha won comfortably setting a time of 22.68, a third SAF record in as many days. She had earlier won gold in the 100m and 400m.

Usha finished second in 23.38 while Vanita Tripathy, also from India had to settle for bronze in 23.59.

Gulab Chand took the men's 1500m finishing just ahead of Sunil Jayawara Mudiyanselage of Sri Lanka by a split second 3:50.06.

The other gold to elude India was in the men's 200m final which ended with two runners crossing the line virtually neck and neck.

Ahmed Maqsood Ahmad of Pakistan took the race by virtue of a better qualifying time of 21.36 despite finishing in the same time, 21.15, as second-placed Bangladesh runner Alam Mahbub.

The other India golds came in the men's triple jump taken by Sanjay Kumar Rai, with 15.87 metres followed by Nelan Shamind Siriwardena of Sri Lanka with 15.85 and Pakistan's Banaris Khan with 15.57.

The women's javelin was won by India's Gurmeet Kaur Rai with a throw of 52.38 metres. Anne Maheshi De Silva of Sri Lanka took silver with 45.37 and bronze went to Kausar Shabana of Pakistan with 38.56