Grand Prix Athletic Meet lackluster sans major runners

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Patiala, Feb 21 (UNI) The much-hyped Indian Grand Prix Athletic Meet turned out to be a lackluster event with a slew of top-notch athletes including Anju Bobby George, K.M. Binu, Ranjit, Vikas Gowda among others, missing at the NIS flood-lit synthetic track and most participants failing to shine.

To make matters worse, two of the walkers, Babu Bhai and Chandran were admitted in the hospital at the NIS due to exhaustion.

The latter could not complete the 50km walk, which was held at the track and not on the road as per the IAAF rules.

However, Babu Bhai completed the 50 km walk with a timing of 4:15:50.00 to better the national record of Gurdev Singh (4:16:22.00) made two years back in Hyderabad.

But the event was won by Basant Bahadur of SSCB with a timing of 4:10:42.00.

In 400m (men), Virendra Kumar Pankaj won the race with a timing of 47.51 sec, though he was way behind K.M.Binu, who returned a timing of 45.48 in Athens Olympics 2004.

In the 400m for women, Chitra K. Soman of ONGC pipped the celebrated Mandeep Kaur, returning a timing of 53.19 sec. But she too, was much behind Manjit Kaur's national record with a timing of 51.05 which she clocked in June 2004 in Chennai.

In triple jump (men), Amarjit Singh of the Railways, won with a performance of 16.30.

In shot put (men), Om Prakash's performance of 18.27, which fetched him the gold medal, was nowhere close to Shakti Singh's 20.42 which he performed in Chennai in 2000.

In women's high jump, Sahana Kumari of Karnataka, performed 1.80 to take the first place, while Mariyan C.Thariyan of CRPF was in the second place with 1.65, and star athlete J.J.Shobha of the Railways was relegated to third spot with 1.60.

In discus throw (women), celebrated athlete Neelam J.Singh performed poorly as she hurled the metal disc to a distance of 47.63.

The event was won by Harwant Kaur whose performance of 58.54, though creditable, was not enough to overshadow Seema Antil's record of 64.64 which she recorded in Chennai on June 16, 2004.

UNI XC JN MMS1946

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