Anju bags gold on day one of South Asian Championship

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Kochi, Mar 7 (UNI) Beijing Olympics medal hope Anju Bobby George, Preeja Sreedharan and C Hamza of India stamped their authority by striking gold as the host nation had taken the upperhand at the first South Asian Athletics Championship here today.

Ace Long Jumper Anju took the gold with an effort of 6.50m with her compatriot J J Shobha taking the bronze medal with 6.04m. Sri Lanka's Priyadarshani came second with a jump of 6.06m.

Anju made the winning jump in the second attempt after a 6.45m effort in the first jump. The inexperience of the other jumpers including Mayookha Johny and Prajusha from India was evident as they could not give any worthwhile competition to the international jumper.

India's Preeja Sridharan, who planned her running to perfection, got the gold medal with a timing of 16:08.09, in the 5,000m for women.

Preeja, who ran the initial laps by conserving energy, went ahead of the pack in the last two laps with India's Kavita Raut coming second with 16:31.22 and Sri Lanka's D A Inoka finishing the distance in 17:33.87.

Promising athelete C Hamza of India came first in the men's 1,500m with a timing of 3:44.67 with his compatriot Ravinder taking the silver medal with 3:44.84. T P K Mandis of Sri Lanka took the bronze medal with a timing of 3:46.45.

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