02 March 2019
Sangrur (Punjab). VK Vismaya created an upset of sorts as she beat fancier names to win the gold medal in the women’s 400m race at the Indian Grand Prix-3 held in Sangrur on Saturday. Vismaya, who had won a gold medal as part of the Indian 4x400m team that won gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, has only been competing in international tournaments since 2018, but she managed to get the better of both two time Asian Games gold medalist MR Poovamma and World Junior champion and national record holder Hima Das.
Timings and efforts were on the lower side as athletes competed in chilly conditions at the War Heroes Stadium in Sangrur, Punjab. However, that did little to deter the 22-year-old Vismaya, who recorded a time of 53.80. She was 0.26 seconds faster than MR Poovamma who clocked a time of 54.06. The bronze medal was claimed by Prachi of Uttar Pradesh who recorded a time of 54.49. Prachi though managed to keep Hima Das off the podium. Das, who holds the Indian national record of 50.79 in her name, was well off her best as she recorded a time of 55.19. The time was the slowest of her career. However, Das was only running her first competitive race of the season and is likely to improve as the season progresses. The victory was the second for Vismaya at the Indian GP this season. She had also won a gold medal at the first Indian GP of the season in Patiala on February 23rd.
Meanwhile, Rajiv Arokia won the men’s 400m race with the timing of 46.32. National record holder Mohammed Anas who made a start to his season with Sangrur meet clocked 46.60 and finished second while with the timing of 46.75 Jeevan KS won the bronze medal.
Another national record holder, M Shreeshankar was also well off his personal best in the long jump, but still managed to do enough to win the gold medal in Sangrur. Sreeshankar recorded a best jump of 7.74m to step on top of the podium. Sreeshankar, who had a personal best of 8.20m, recorded a jump of 7.72m to start out with before improving to 7.74 with his second. He recorded a subsequent jump of 7.70m before fouling his fourth attempt. That effort would be his last of the competition as he opted out of his final two attempts. The silver medal would go to M Silambarasan of Tamil Nadu who recorded a best effort of 7.25m on his third attempts. Silambarasan narrowly beat out Siddharth Mohan Naik of Karnataka who took the third step of the podium with an effort only 1cm short of silver place. Naik recorded a jump of 7.24m as his best of the competition.
An upset was also the outcome of the men’s 800m race. Asian Games gold medalist Manjeet Singh had to be content with a silver medal after clocking a time of 1.49.82. The gold medal would go to Kerala’s Mohammad Afsal who crossed the finish line in a time of 1.49.48. Ankit of Haryana clinched bronze with an time of 1.50.11.
There would also be disappointment for Jisna Mathews who could only record a third-place finish in the women’s 800m. Mathews, a 400m bronze medalist at the Asian Championships, has been running the 800m this season. She had success in her first race, winning the Indian GP in Patiala in February but was off the pace in her second attempt over the distance in Sangrur. The 20-year-old recorded a time of 2.09.60 to finish behind Shalu Chaudhary of Delhi and Archana Adhav of Maharashtra. Chaudhary won the race with a time of 2.08.69 while Adhav came in second with a time of 2.09.43.