CHENNAI: Services‘ Tejinder Pal Toor upstaged national record holder Om Prakash Singh in his last attempt to clinch his maiden shot put nationals gold on the opening day of the 57th National Open athletics championship here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday.
Tejinder, a silver winner in the recently-concluded Asian Athletics Championship, was behind Om Prakash, who registered a best throw of 18.80m in his second attempt. Tejinder’s 18.86m throw in his final attempt saw him bag the yellow metal.
Although Tejinder won gold beating Om Prakash (national record throw of 20.69m in 2012), he wasn’t satisfied with his performance. “I wasn’t at my best today. Maybe it had to do with the hectic schedule. I did 19.77m in the Asian meet and this is below that. But I wasn’t under any pressure with Om at the other end. I backed myself to do it,” said Tejinder, who has started his preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
Railways’ Jasdeep Singh finished third with a throw of 18.51m, his last effort on the day.
Services men and Railways women dominate day 1:Long-distance champion G Lakshmanan set the tone for Services early on Monday morning as he stormed to gold in the men’s 5000m race. Lakshmanan, who won double gold in Asian Athletics Championships, clocked 14:04:21s.
Railways’ Abhishek Pal (14:08:38s) and Mann Singh (14:08:87) of Services finished second and third respectively.
“There wasn’t much of a struggle for me during the race. I was confident of winning it,” he said. In the women’s category, Railways showed their supremacy in 5000m, hammer throw and long jump.
It started with L Suriya, who had trained with Lakshmanan in Pudukottai, winning gold in the 5000m with a timing of 16:02:85s. Her teammate Chinta Yadav bagged silver while Saigeeta Naik (All India Police) got the third place.
Although national women’s hammer throw record holder Sarita P Singh of Railways won the event without much fuss clearing 60.54m, she was a bit disappointed that she couldn’t come anywhere near her best (65.25m) earlier this year. Meanwhile, Railways’ V Neeva, with a 6.35m jump, won the first place in the women’s long jump event.
Field athletes not pleased with venue facilities: With the field events being held at the Nehru ‘B’ Stadium, most athletes expressed their displeasure at the “not so good” throwing pit. Shot-put winner Tejinder said that the throwing circle “wasn’t up to the mark.”
“It was actually not helping. I guess the finishing of the circle isn’t proper,” he said. Even a couple of women hammer throwers stated the same. To make matters worse, the overnight rain didn’t help the athletes’ cause.
Results: Men: 5000m: G Lakshmanan (Services) 14:04:21, 2. Abhishek Pal (Railways) 14:08:38, 3. Mann Singh (Services) 14:08:87. Shot put: 1. Tejinder Pal Toor (Services) 18.86m, 2. Om Prakash Singh (ONGC) 18.80m, Jasdeep Singh (Railways) 18.51m.
Women: 5000m: 1. L Suriya (Railways) 16:02:85s, 2 Chinta Yadav (Railways) 16:40:45s, 3. Saigeeta Naik (All India Police) 16:53:97s; Hammer Throw: Sarita P Singh (Railways) 60.54m, 2. Gunjan Singh (Railways) 59.10m, Jyoti (Haryana) 57.07m. Long jump: V Neeva (Railways) 6.35m, 2. Priyanka Kirketta (Jharkhand) 6.22m, D Aishwarya (Karnataka) 6.16m.