India wins 3 gold on last day of Asian Indoor to finish in style

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Doha, Feb 16 (UNI) Indian athletes put up a spirited performance, winning three gold and four silver medals on the final day of the ongoing third Asian Indoor Athletic Championships here today.

Defending Asian Indoor Games champion P J Vinod retained his heptathlon title, scoring the 5561 points to win gold for India.

Sephrzad Hadi of Iran finished second with 5515 points while Hiromasa Tanaka of Japan took bronze with 5306 points.

The Indian Women's 4x400 metre relay team lived up to its expectations, winning the gold medal with a championship record of 3:37.46sec.

Mandeep Kaur started the race and handed over the baton to Manjeet Kaur who failed to extend the lead achieved by Mandeep. It was Sini Jose's call to regain the lead but she failed to do so.

The onus finally came to Asian Games champion Chitra Soman who ran a spirited two laps, overtaking the Kazak runner in the last 30 metres to register an exciting victory.

The Kazaksthan team finished second with 3:38.10sec while Thailand took bronze with a time of 3:43.22sec.

Sinimol Paulose bagged her second gold of the meet, winning the women's 800 metres clocking a time of 2:03.43sec and set a new championship record in the process.

Compatriot Sushma Devi made it a one-two for India with a personal best time of 2:04.66sec while Matsko Mragarita of Kazakhstan was third with 2:04.85sec.

Sinimol and Matsko were neck-to-neck in the first 400 metre but the Indian accelerated ahead of her rival in the next half of the race to cap a memorable outing in the championship.

Sushma later took over Matsko in the last 50m.

Meanwhile, in the men's 3000 metre final, Surendra Singh set a new personal best of 7:49.47sec, an improvement of more than 15 seconds to his indoor best, to finish behind Sultan Zaman of Qatar.

Sultan recorded 7:49.31sec to win gold while James Kurui (7:50.76sec), also of Qatar, took the bronze.

Meanwhile, Om Prakash, participating in his maiden Indoor competition, grabbed his first continental championship medal in the final of the Men's Shot Put with a throw of 18.37 metre bettering the championship record of 18.33 metre. His compatriot Satender Singh finished fifth with an effort of 17.62 metre.

The Indian Men's 4x400 metre relay team also put up a fine show, winning the silver for India in the last final of the Championships with a timing of 3:16.53sec.

Saudi Arabia clocked 3:14.25sec to register the sixth championship record of the third day to win the Gold. Host Qatar finished third with 3:17.93sec.

India have now won a total of 17 medals, including five gold, nine silver and three bronze medals.

UNI XC AB RAR KN2201

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