India reign supreme bagging 24 gold, Sinimol best athlete

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Kochi, Mar 8 (UNI) India's Sinimole Poulose was adjudged the best promising female athlete of the first South Asian Athletics Championship, which saw the host country ruling the roost in the two-day meet with a gold tally of 24 medals.

Sinimole, after winning gold in 800m yesterday, bagged a double by reigning supreme in the 1500m with a timing of 4:16.40 at the Championship which concluded at the Maharaja's College Ground here.

India's Sushma with a timing of 4:19.82 took the silver medal and Sri Lanka's D A S Samanmali came third in 4:25.33.

Pakistan's triple jumper Zafar Iqbal, who won the gold with an effort of 16.42, was chosen as the best prommising male athlete of the Championship.

Though India's athletes performed well, none of them qualified for the Beijing Olympics from this meet.

India's Seema Antil also had a double gold strike as she came first in shotput with a throw of 14.34m. Seema had won a gold medal in discus with an effort of 57.94m.

Seema made the winning throw in her second attempt and was first after three trials. Though Sri Lanka's M N D Muthuna was determined to challenge the Indian, she could manage only 13.66m for the silver medal and India's Saroj took the bronze medal with a throw of 13.40m.

The fastest women of the meet, Sri Lanka's D D P Priyadarshani today proved her mettle again as she pipped her compatriot L S Irangani to the post in the 200m.

Priyadarshani returned with an effort of 24.04 while Irangani completed the distnce in 24.25 with India's Sushmita Singha Roy taking the bronze medal with a timing of 24.40.

UNI MA VV RAR HS2106

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