25 Sep. 18
Bhubaneswar (Odisha). Railways athlete Sharmila Kumari produced the first upset in the opening day of the 58th National Open athletics Championships by pipping National Record holder Annu Rani to the gold medal in the women’s javelin throw event at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa on Tuesday. The 23-year-old Kumari threw a personal best throw of 54.81m to beat former Asian Games bronze medalist Rani who only managed a best throw of 52.98m on the day.
Kumari improved on her previous personal best of 54.21m that she had registered at the 58th National Inter State Championships in Guwahati in August this year. That effort had only won her a silver medal behind Rani. However in Bhubaneshwar, Rani was well short of her personal best of 61.86m and had to be satisfied with second place.
Kumari had made three sub 50m throws to start out, recording efforts of 46.67m, 49.22m, 49.65m in her opening three throws. However she improved to 53.17m in her fourth throw before recording her PB of 54.85 in her penultimate attempt. Rani, who had opened with a throw of 51.46m was leading after the first three throws of the competition but fell to second after Kumari crossed the 53m mark. Competing in what will be her season ending competition, Rani failed to get close to either her national mark of 61.86m or the meet record of 60.01m that also stood in her name.
Completing the podium was K Rashmi, also of Railways whose final throw of 50.16m bumped her up from fourth place.
Also winning a gold medal on the opening day of the competition, on the track was Gujarat athlete Murli Kumar Gavit who won the men’s 10000m competition. Kumar, who holds the second fastest time recorded by an Indian, having clocked a time of 28:43:34 seconds at the Gouden Spike meet in Netherlands earlier this year, clocked a time of 29.49.79 seconds to beat Railways’ Ranjeet Patel who fell just short with a time of 29:50.43 seconds. Pradeep Singh of Services took bronze with a time of 29:52.37 seconds.
The opening day also saw two of the three-member Japanese contingent advancing to the final of their events. Takesishi clocked a time of 54.61seconds, to finish third behind Kavita who clocked 54.48 seconds and Chavi Sehrawat who clocked 54.53 seconds in the heats of the women’s 400m. However Takesishi qualified for the final as the fastest loser amongst the three heats on the opening day.
Takesishi’s compatriot Hitomi Shimura also advanced to the finals of the women’s 100m hurdles after finishing second in her heat. Shimura, who competed at the 2017 World Championships clocked a time of 14.08 seconds to finish behind C Kanimozhi of Tamil Nadu who clocked 13.88 seconds to win the heat.
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