Jharkhand athletes off to flying start in Nat meet

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Madurai, Jun 15 (UNI) Athletes from Jharkhand were off to a flying start in the Velammal 48th National Inter-State Senior Athletics championship, with Kashi Nath Aswale and Priti L Rao winning gold medals in the finals of 10,000 m Men and Women sections respectively today.

On the first day of the event, which will be the final selection trials of Indian Athletic squad for the Beijing Olympics, held at MGR grounds, here, Aswale clocked 29 minutes 12.65 seconds to take the first place, much below the meet record held by Surendra Singh of Uttarakhand (29 min 06.17 sec) in the 2007 meet and below the national record of Hari Chand (28 min 48.72 sec).

Ajai Kumar Patel of Uttar Pradesh, won the silver by clocking 29 min 27.03 sec, while Soji Mathew of Kerala bagged the silver by reaching the destination in 29 min 48.26 sec.

In the women's event, Priti L Rao took the gold by clocking 36 min 23.62 sec, followed by M Sudha of Tamil Nadu, who won the silver in 38 min 08.59 sec. Manjusha C A of Kerala, finished third with 40 minutes 08.30 sec.

Indian Olympics Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, MP, inaugurated the meet after colourful cultural events.

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