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3rd Lusofonia Games

Alexandre and Claudia takes away 10K honours, bronze for Swati Gadhave
Goa, India ‚Äď 27 January 2014
The entrance of the Miramar beach, where the Beach Volleyball tournament taking place, seen some busy activity  on pre-dawn Monday morning with officials working on last minute adjustments to the gadgets installed and cops patrolling the streets with sniffer-dogs and sten-guns.  Not to panic, it was just for the10 KM Road Race, the last event of athletics competitions in Lusofonia Games here.
Exactly at 7:30 a.m. seven men set out on the race which held on the 5 km loop course.  Fifteen minutes later six women set their foot on the same path.
Sooner five men formed the lead group and passed the first lap in 16:50 while Indian runners C.P. Shiju and Francisco D‚ÄôClemente followed them about 200m behind.¬†¬†¬†When the leading bunch approach 8.5 km mark two Angolans ‚Äď Alexandre and Francisco Wehunga ‚Äď increased the tempo and only Euclides Varela of Cape Verde Islands managed to hang on with them.¬†¬†¬†Alexandre sprinted to finish in the last 50 metres and covered the distance in 30:21 while Wehunga did so just 1 second behind him for the silver.¬†¬†Varela filled the podium with 30:24.¬†¬†¬†In spite of his best effort, Alexandre‚Äôs time was 7 secs slower than the Games‚Äô Record in men‚Äôs race held by Rui Pedro Silva of Portugal since Lisbon 2009.
Earlier Alexandre had won a bronze in 5000m here on Friday wherein Wehunga finished fourth and Varela was the silver medallist.
Indian men Shiju and Clemente finished sixth and seventh respectively.
The women’s race was rather slow when compared to men’s.  Claudia Pereira of Portugal did the front-running right from the start and covered the first half in 17:52 with Angola’s Ernestina Maria and Indian Swati Gadhave running closely behind her. Crisolita Silva of Cape Verde Islands along with Manisha Salunkhe, the second Indian on the fray, followed the route thereafter.
As the leading women approached their final journey towards finish, Claudia break-away from the rest and made an energetic finish in 34:40 that retained the women’s crown for her nation.    Angola’s Maria finished at 35:17 for the silver while the Indian girls Swati Gadhave earned the bronze in 35:36.   Manisha in fourth clocked 36:28.
Jamila Tavers of Sao Tome and Principe developed cramps and hence rode back in ambulance.
Women’s victor Claudia (aged 37) has been a regular road and cross-country runner, holding a personal best 34:09 at 10K since 2008.  She took part in the ING New York Marathon last year and finished 24th.
Holder da Silva sprinted to new Games Record in 200m
Goa, India ‚Äď 25 January 2014
After two days of dull and not so impressive performances, the athletics competitions in the 3rd Lusofonia Games here have returned to some notable moments on Saturday evening.
Kurt Couto of Mozambique, the winner of men’s 400m hurdles in the inaugural edition of the Lusofonia Games at Macau in 2006 but had a disappointing third place finish in Lisbon three years ago, regained champion status in his favourite event here at GMC Athletics Stadium, Bambolin.
Holding a very strong national mark of 49.02 secs, under his belt, Couto was incidentally the hot favourite to win the Gold here which he did so efficiently by aptly aided by teammate Creve Machava, who made it 1-2 for the Mozambique.  The former World University Games medallist however clocked only 51.97 secs hence his Games Record 50.29s remain intact.
India’s Anu Raghavan had a run-away victory in the women’s race in 60.53 secs.
Another athlete who evolved from bronze position to the ‚Äėnumero uno‚Äô place here was Holder da Silva of Guinea-Bissau in men‚Äôs 200m.¬†¬†After two bronze medals in 100 and 200m in Macau and another bronze in the longer sprint in 2009, Silva went on to win the gold with a huge margin and that too with a New Games Record time of 21.40 secs as the winner‚Äôs time of 20.64s in the Lisbon meet four years ago was wind-assisted.¬†¬†¬†¬†Incidentally his was the first Games Record being broken at Goa and his winning margin of 0.55 secs was also the biggest ever in the Games‚Äô history for this event.
Indian sprinter C. Renjitha takes away the women’s title in a modest 25 secs with Cape Verde Islands’ Lidiane Lopes on the outside lane taking the silver just 7/100th of a second behind.
Alberto Mamba of Moazambique completes a ‚Äúdistance double‚ÄĚ by adding the 800m gold to his first day‚Äôs 1500m.¬†¬†Indian Lalit Mathur‚Äôs effort to catch him on the final straight went futile as Mamba won in 0.40 secs ahead of him in 1:53.96.
Angola’s Felismina, who finished second behind Indian metric miler P.U. Chitra on the opening day, went on to win the women’s 800m this evening.
Indian women took the first two places in triple jump which saw a keen contest between four competitors.¬†¬†Sri Lankan N.C.D. Priyadharshani, national record-holder with a PB of 13.15m, had a disappointing fourth place with a paltry 12.09m mark.¬†¬†Indian junior champion Bhairabi Roy and silver medallist M.A. Siva Anbarasi had ‚Äėno mark‚Äô on the first round.¬†¬†Anbarasi leaped to 12.31m on the second round to emerge as an event leader until Roy put up a better display by registering a personal best 12.48m on the fourth.¬†¬†Portugal‚Äôs Vanessa Rocha snatched the bronze medal with her last round 12.15m from the Lankan.
Sunday will be the rest day for athletics competitions while the 10 Km Road Races for Men and Women will be held at Miramar on Monday.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /

 Veiga pips Neena for the long jump gold

Goa, India ‚Äď 24 January 2014
While hosts India continue to remain top on the medals tally athletes from other nations also beginning to prove their mettle ‚Äď some by virtue of the absence of top notch Brazil and Portugal athletes but others with better show on the second day of the track and field competitions here at GMC Athletics Stadium in Bambolin.
Athletes from Sri Lanka, Portugal, Macau and the Cape Verde Islands have won the first gold medals for their respective nations in this competition on Friday evening.    Notable among them were E.W.U.  Rathnakumari from Sri Lanka.  The Islander from South Asia credit with a personal best of 54.40 secs was a strong contender to win the gold medal in women’s 400m that she accomplished with an ease in 56.72s here.  Perhaps a no mean effort if compared with her country-mate Chandrika Subashini’s bronze winning time of 53.41s in the previous edition of the Games at Lisbon four years ago.  However there was no one to push Rathna Kumari this evening than young G.K. Vijayakumari of India.  The victor in youth category at the last Indian junior nationals at Bangalore with a PB of 56.75s could manage only 57.19 for the silver.  The men’s race was won by Sumit Malik in yet another easy 48.82 secs clocking.
India’s M.M. Anchu, who missed most the last season due to injury, bounced back with a winning note in women’s 100m hurdles with a time of 14.21 secs.   She had a personal best 13.77s since 2012 and was easily a strong contender for the podium finish in this event.  Angolan Whiney Carina carried away the silver in 14.45s.   However the men’s 110m hurdles saw the top-rung Abhay Aneesh Joshy finished outside the podium as he hits the fourth hurdles strongly and lost balance midway.  Iong Kim Fai won the gold by improving his PB and Macau National Record to 14.47s for the gold.  Harshit Nimal (Sri Lanka, 14.58s) and M.N. Nasimudheen (India, 14.72s) occupied the other two positions behind Kim.
Two titles went to Portugal in the women’s section.   Shot putter Silvia Cruz, who is credited with 12 national titles in shot put and javelin throw, had a cake-walk with her 13.25m toss of the 4 kg iron ball here.  But long jumper Evelise Veiga had to fight it out with Indian V. Neena for the gold.  Neena was a better-rated jumper with her 6.20m career best she achieved during the last nationals at Ranchi and tipped to win the event.  However she could manage only 5.66m this evening that was 20 cm behind Veiga for the silver.
¬†Distance runners from Cape Verde Islands made it 1-2 in the men‚Äôs 5000m while for the Sri Lankans it was profitable day as they were benefitted from two more victories through triple jumper Dinesh Fernando and the men‚Äôs sprint relay.¬†¬†However their attempt for a ‚Äúrelay double‚ÄĚ was thwarted by the hosts‚Äô women quartet.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /

Hosts India had a flying start

Goa, India ‚Äď 23 January 2014

The track and field events of the 3rd Lusofonia Games have commenced here at GMC Athleticss Stadium  on Thursday evening.

From no medal in athletics in the first two editions of the above Games held at 2006 and 2009, the hosts went on to win as much as 5 out of seven gold medals at stake on the opening day.

High jumper N.D. Tintu opened the Indian assault by taking the gold in 1.71m.  Sri Lankan  Shyamali Sooriyampola, the pre-event favourite with a season best 1.78m  as against Tintu’s 1.73m, could not clear beyond 1.68m for the silver.

Goan boys Hubert Dcosta (12.32) and Ashwin Soares (9.77) triumphed next in the men’s shot put.  Same was the case with local starts Shankar K. Dhamdhay (7.01m) and Anik Ajay Naik (6.91m) in the long jump.

National¬†¬†junior champion P.U. Chira brought home the fourth gold of the day in women‚Äôs 1500m.¬†¬†Running neck-to-neck with Angolan Felismina, Chitra made ‚Äėkick‚Äô when 200m to go¬†¬†and clocked¬†¬†a modest 4:35.37 for her effort.¬†¬†Felismina received the silver in 4:41.15 ahead of Nitisha Govind¬†¬†of India who timed a slow 5:04.10 for the bronze.

The fifth and final gold of the Indian camp came from yet another National junior champion Archana Suseendran as she made it 1-2 with teammate Ruma Sarkar (11.98 to 12.16 secs) while Sri Lankan Jani Chathurangani‚ÄĒwho is credited with 7 national titles to her cap with a personal best of 10.78s registered two years ago‚ÄĒfinished third in 12.19s.

Indian Husandeep Singh, favourite to win the men’s title, had a shocking exist in the final after a false start.  Hence Osvoldo Morais of Angola become the fastest man by clocking 10.67 secs ahead of Danielsan Marins of Cape Verde Islands (10.75s) and teammate Mauro Gaspar (10.91s).

Unheralded Alberto Mamba of Mozambique takes the men’s 1500m in 4:06.9.  Sri Lankan P.H. Chamel (4:08.6) and Indian distance runner P. Mohammed Afsal (4:10.6) earned the minor placings in this event.

Click here to view Day-1 Results

 / Ram. Murali Krishnan /

Goa (India) ‚Äď 12 January 2014

The 3rd edition of Lusofonia Games will be held at Goa in India from 18 to 29 January.   Lusofonia Games are a quadrennial multi-sport event contested in friendly terms among the 12 nations and regions once governed under Portugal.
The athletics competitions of Lusofonia Games will be held at Athletics Stadium, GMC Complex, Bambolin from 23 to 25 January and a 10 km Road Race will be held at Miramar Circle, Miramar, Panjim on 27th January.
There will be 16 medal events for men and 15 for women, including the road races, to be held on the four competition days mentioned above.

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