Elakkiyadasan VK of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka’s Sneha SS were victorious in the men’s and women’s 100m dash on the opening day of track and field of the 37th National Games here on Sunday.
Both the fastest runners of the competition were slow off the blocks but shifted into top gears in the last 20 meters to win gold medals in their respective groups. Elakkiyadasan’s gold medal winning time was 10.36 seconds, while Sneha clocked 11.45 seconds.
Earlier, Hangzhou Asian Games bronze medalist in men’s 10,000m, Gulveer Singh, representing Services, claimed first track and field gold of the National Games by winning the men’s 5,000m title.
Sneha was excited with her performance on Sunday. “My start was ok, but It was a good finish,” Sneha said in the post-race interaction.
The competitors in the men’s 5,000m final played a waiting game. At least five athletes were in contention for the medal until the last 100m of the race.
The Services distance runner found top gear when it mattered most. He crossed the finish line with a time of 14 minutes 13.03 seconds to add National Games 5000m gold to his kitty.
Gujarat’s international runner Gavit Murli Kumar was close second. His silver medal winning time was 14:13.14 secs.
It was a proud moment for Goa as Ajay Kumar won bronze with a time of 14:13.33 secs.
“I ran for the medal today and not for the time,” Gulveer Singh said. “My next goal is to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.”
As expected, Olympian and Asian Games medalist Seema Punia comfortably won the women’s discus throw gold with a distance of 52.51m.
In the women’s 10,000m race, Seema of Himachal Pradesh surged ahead of her arch rival Sanjivani Jadhav of Maharashtra in the last lap to win the gold medal with a time of 33:20.75 seconds. Sanjivani settled for silver.
100m : Elakkiyadasan VK (Tamil Nadu) 10.36 seconds, Gurav Pranav (Maharashtra) 10.41 seconds, Saurabh Rajesh (Services) 10.45 seconds.
5,000m : Gulveer Singh (Services) 14:13.03 seconds, Gavit Murli Kumar (Gujarat) 14:13.14 secs, Ajay Kumar (Goa) 14:13.33 secs.
High Jump : Aadarsh Ram (Tamil Nadu) 2.14m, Bharathi V (Services) 2.14m, Swadhin Kumar Majhi (Odisha) 2.08m.
100m : Sneha SS (Karnataka) 11.45 seconds, Srabani Nanda (Odisha) 11.50 seconds, Giridharani R (Tamil Nadu) 11.58 seconds.
10,000m : Seema (Himachal Pradesh) 33:20.75, Sanjivani Jadhav (Maharashtra) 33:32.27, Poonam Sonune (Maharashtra) 34:29.71.
Discus Throw : Seema Punia (Uttar Pradesh) 52.51m, Nidhi (Haryana) 51.69m, Neetika Verma (Uttar Pradesh) 51.27m.