Maharashtra retains 'overall general championship'

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Pune, Feb 3 (UNI) Maharashtra's determined long-distance runners, once again, won eight out of ten events and bagged the whopping total prize money of Rs four lakh in the 13th Federation Cup National Cross Country championship, hosted by the Nagpur District Athletic Association, here today.

It was out of the blue performance by Ashok Kumbhar of hosts Maharashtra, which paved way for their outstanding performance after winning the men's four kilometres race in a time of 12.16 minutes.

While, compatriot Naresh Kumar took one second more to bag the silver and the bronze was captured by Army runner K K Ranjan, who clocked 12.18 minutes.

The army, however, claimed the men's championship getting the better of hosts Maharashtra by a slender margin of one point. While, Maharashtra were the runners-up and Utrakhand bagged the third place.

The women's four kilometeres race saw Dimple Naidu of Maharashtra, an employee of police force, overcame a strong field to win the gold in a time of 15.29 minutes. Her teammate Anupama Patil lifted the silver taking nine seconds more than the winner, while Seema Akhtar of Mahrashtra bagged the bronze with a time of 15.40 minutes and Jyoti Gavte was placed fourth taking 16.02 minutes to complete the sweep.

It was an outstanding performance of the Maharashtra girls who not only bagged the event championship, but also claimed the overall general championship for women. While the Central Reserve Police Force were placed runners-up, Gujarat took the third slot in the section.

Having taken the inspiration from their seniors, the Maharashtra under-16 girls also made a clean sweep in three kilometres race.

Jyoti Jadhav won the gold winning the race in a time of 12.1 seconds. Sneha Pharsole bagged the silver and Janabai Hirve took the bronze. Maharashtra thus claimed the overall team title in the group as well, while Gujrat was placed runner-up.

A keen competition was witnessed in the corresponding three kilometres race for boys under-16, with Shakti Singh of Goa coming on top of the heep. He was also instrumental in getting the team title as well in the section.

Maharashtra Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Anil Deshmukh was the guest of honour at the final prize distribution function, who gave away the prizes. The prizes were also given by Nagpur Mayor Maya Evnate, Mrs Kalpanatai Pamde, MLA Rajendra Mulluk, Ramesh Bute, Manik Rao Thosare, Sadanand Phuljhele and ex-Olympian Balkrushna Akotkar.

MAAA Secretary General Pralhad Sawant, who has been instrumental in taking the event to the district place for the first time, was the master of ceremony.

Former Nagpur mayor Atal Bhadur Singh proposed the vote of thanks.

The Orange City Run, which attracted nearly 3,000 participants from all walks of life including four-year-old Gargi Tokekar, 83-year-old veteran former Olympian Godbole, another 83-year-old veteran Shantabai Patki, international shuttler Arundati Pantavane and Sant Tukroji Maharaj University Vice Chancellor Mr Pathan flagged off the Orange City Run from Diksha Bhoomi this morning at 0800 hrs.

Results: Boy's (u-16) three kilometres: 1 Shakti singh (Goa), 10:01 seconds, 2 Ranjit patel (Uttar Pradesh), 10:02 seconds, 3 Paramjit singh (Goa), 10:04 seconds, 4 Sujit Kumar (Uttar Pradesh), 10:08 seconds, 5 Naresh Kumar (Goa), 10:15 seconds, 6 Rajinder (Delhi), 10:18 seconds.

Girls (u-16) thee kilometres: 1 Jyoti Jadhav (Maharashtra), 12:01 seconds 2 Sneha Farsole (Maharashtra), 12:03 seconds, 3 Janabai Hirve (Maharashtra) 12:09 seconds, 4 Meenal Taktode (Maharashtra), 12:10 seconds, 5 Jyoti Kumar (Delhi) 12.11 seconds, 6 Renuka chope (Goa), 12:40 seconds.

Men (four kilometres): 1 Ashok kumbhar (Maharashtra), 12:18 seconds, 2 Naresh Kumar (Maharashtra), 12:17 seconds, 3 Ranjan K K (Army) 12:18 seconds, 4 Laxman Singh (Army) 12:19 seconds, 5 Shivprasad (Goa) 12:20 seconds, 6 Shanvaz (Army) 12:22 seconds.

Women (four kilometres): 1 Dimple Naidu (Maharashtra) 15:29 seconds, 2 Anupama Patil (Maharashtra) 15:38 seconds, 3 Semma Nahid (Maharashtra) 15:40 seconds, 4 Jyoti Gawate (Maharashtra) 16:02 seconds, 5 Sunita (Delhi) 16:16 seconds, 6 K J Sandhya (CRPF) 16:29 seconds.

Team Championship (Men): 1 Maharashtra, 2 Army.

UNI IS AA/SSS RSA HT2236

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