H.M. Jyothi winning the 100m at the Indian Grand Prix in Kochi (Ram. Murali Krishnan) © Copyright
General News Kochi, India

Shot Putter Prakash produces the highlight in Indian Grand Prix kick-off in Kochi

A small contingent of Malaysian athletes along with the Indian probables drawn from various training camps across the country descended on the Kerala city with a sole aim in their mind -- to achieve the qualifying norm for the World and Asian championships. To their dismay the long journey and scorching heat prevented them to realise their dream in the first leg of Indian Grand Prix athletics which concluded here on Sunday evening. However the spirited athletes fought hard the trying conditions to deliver their personal bests in some of the events.
 
The only athlete who came near the Berlin standard here was shot putter Om Prakash. The basketballer-turned-athlete tossed the iron ball to 19.74m on his last try, which was 16cm short of the "B" standard. Having just returned from a training cum competition stint in Europe, Prakash expects to gain a berth in one of the next two legs of the NGP scheduled to be held at Coimbatore (8) and Chennai (14).
 
Among women, two athletes delivered noteworthy performances. Young and upcoming H.M. Jyothi of Andhra Pradesh came out from the blocks like a rocket and ran a solo race to clock a much improved albeit wind-assisted (+2.9) 11.54 secs to win the women's 100m. She has a legal 11.79 clocking back at Bhopal last year during the Asian All-Stars meet. Jyothi, recently married to quarter-miler Srinivas, attributed the victory to her husband who is been coaching her for the past nine months. An employee of Canara Bank at Bangalore, Jyothi now aiming for a podium-finish in Asian championships at Guangzhou.
 
The sport-loving Kochi fans have something to cheer when triple jumper M.A. Prajusha compensated the absence of the fancied Mayookha Johny, who is nursing an injury and has yet to return to competition. Starting with a 13.06m mark, the railway employee delivered a surprising 13.54m in her second try thus joined a select club of Indian athletes who have jumped past 13.50m. Former long jump world championship bronze medallist Anju George (13.67) along with two other Keralites Anisha K. Vijayan (13.57) and Mayookha Johny (13.56) have credited with better performances than Prajusha. "I am eyeing a 14m jump," said the beaming Prajusha.
 
Long jumper Maha Singh was the another athlete who was said to have done well in the camps but failed to impress at Kochi. "I have been regulary hit the sand with jumps of 8m plus" revealed Singh. "I have no recovery time after a long journey and the climate was merciless, but am confident of delivering 8.10m and above at Chennai," the jumper assured in the post-event briefing.
 
The women quarter-milers and discus throwers once again disappointed with their dismal show here. "This is only a season opener and the girls need to work it out towards the next few weeks to attain their peak when the championships are nearer," a veteran coach opined.
 
There was an interesting dual in the women's 800m. Tintu Luka, a prodigy of legendary Indian athlete P.T. Usha, locked horns with her elderly compatriot Sushma Devi. The Kerala athlete just recovered from a viral fever had given a hard fight. However the experienced Devi took the title at the post.
 
Ram. Murali Krishnan for the IAAF
 
Leading Results:
 
MEN:
 
100m (2.0):
1. Abdul Najeeb Qureshi (AP) 10.59; 2. B.G. Nagaraj (Rly) 10.63; 3. Sameer Mon (Ser) 10.67
 
400m:
Race-A: 1. Joseph G. Abraham (Rly) 47.72; 2. Kunhi Mohammed (Ker) 48.23; 3. P.S. Sreejith (Ker) 48.52
Race-B: 1. Bibin Mathew (Rly) 46.85; 2. V.B. Bineesh (Rly) 47.60; 3. Ajay Kumar (BSF) 47.78
 
800m:
1. D. Prakash Varma (Rly) 1:49.60; 2. Pankaj Dimri (Pol) 1:49.79; 3. Chatholi Hamza (Ser) 1:49.85
 
3000m:
1. Surinder Singh (Ser) 7:55.40; 2. Kashinath Aswale (Rly) 7:55.43; 3. Sandeep Batham (Rly) 8:08.06
 
110m hurdles (-1.2):
1. K. Krishna Mohan (AP) 14.34; 2. Sandeep Parmar (IT) 14.46; 3. Nibu George (Ker) 15.01
 
High Jump:
1. Benedict Starli (TN) 2.10; 2. Harishankar Roy (Rly) 2.10; 3. Jitin Thomas (Ker) 2.10
 
Long Jump:
1. Maha Singh (Rly) 7.75/-0.9; 2. Ankit Sharma (MP) 7.36/-0.5; 3. Shivshankar Yadav (Rly) 7.24/-0.5
 
Shot Put:
1. Om Prakash (ONGC) 19.74; 2. Satyender Singh (Rly) 18.72; 3. Sandeep Kumar (Ser) 17.63
 
Discus Throw:
1. Simranjit Singh (BSF) 51.52; 2. Kripal Singh (Pun) 49.82; 3. Sunil Kumar (UP) 48.22
 
Javelin Throw:
1. Kashinath Naik (Ser) 73.78; 2. Rohit Kumar (UP) 72.14; 3. Anilkumar Singh (Rly) 69.50
 
WOMEN:
 
100m (2.9): 1. H.M. Jyothi (AP) 11.54; 2. K. Sowjanya (AP) 11.97; 3. Namita Samal (Rly) 12.24
 
400m:
Race-A: 1. K. Mridula (AP) 55.50; 2. Aswathy Mohan (Ker) 57.02; 3. A.C. Ashwini (Jhar) 57.63
Race-B: 1. Mandeep Kaur (ONGC) 56.59; 2. Priyanka Panwar (Rly) 56.99; 3. Sini Jose (Ker) 57.21
 
800m:
1. Sushma Devi (Rly) 2:06.41; 2. Tintu Luka (Ker) 2:06.73; 3. Priyanka Patel (Rly) 2:15.09
 
3000m:
1. O.P. Jaisha (Rly) 9:28.35; 2. Preeja Sreedharan (Rly) 9:33.28; 3. Kavita Raut (ONGC) 9:45.20
 
100m hurdles (1.7):
1. Sushmita Singharoy (Rly) 14.32; 2. M.S. Darshana (Ker) 14.78; 3. M.M. Anchu (Ker) 15.27
 
High Jump:
1. Sahana Kumari (Rly) 1.78; 2. K.C. Chandana (Karn) 1.68; 3. N.D. Tintu (Ker) 1.68
 
Triple Jump:
1. M.A. Prajusha (Ker) 13.54/0.0; 2. Reshmi Bose (Rly) 12.39/-0.6; 3. Mareena Joseph (Ker) 11.73/-0.8
 
Discus Throw:
1. Krishna Poonia (Rly) 57.74; 2. Seema Antil (CRPF) 54.39; 3. Harwant Kaur (PP) 52.42