Anju wins long jump Gold with new SAF record
Colombo, Aug 25 (UNI) Hitting the pit after a three-month injury lay-off, Anju Bobby George was clearly nowhere near her best but the lanky long jumper's effort of 6.42m was good enough to fetch the Gold with a new SAF Games record at the Sugathadasa Stadium here this evening.
This was a below-par show by the Indian considering her personal best is 6.83m recorded at the 2004 Olympic Games that brought her the sixth position in Athens.
Anju thus wiped out the previous 6.37m SAF record created in 1999 by fellow Indian GG Pramila in Kathmandu. Bangladesh's Foujia Huda came a distant second in the event, clearing 6.07, while Lankan NCD Priyadarshan finished with the Bronze (5.94).
The other Indian in the fray, Anisha Vijayan, finished fourth at 5.94.
India, meanwhile swelled its medal tally to 174 that includes 90 Gold, 52 Silver and 32 Bronze.
A heel injury had kept Anju out of action since her second place finish in the Pune leg of the Asian Grand Prix series in May when she was hamstrung by the injury and leapt a poor 6.46m.
One of the two main top draws of the Games along with Susanthika Jayasinghe, Anju was fourth to hit the pit today but she was clearly no in her elements.
The lanky jumper began with a 6.27 effort but fouled her next attempt before coming up with her best show of the evening, a leap of 6.42, before the decline began. Her subsequent two attempts were 6.35 and 6.26 and she fouled her final attempt as well.
Anju has had a poor season this year so far with her best effort being 6.54 which saw her finish a poor sixth in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Subsequently she cleared 6.43 in Qatar IAAF Super Four before leaping a poor 6.46 in the Pune leg of Asian Grannd Prix series.
Earlier, Anuradha Biswal earned the first athletics Gold of the day in women's 100m hurdles. The Indian was fastest off the block and led throughout even though Sumita Rani (14.36) of Bangladesh reduced the gap but that was clearly not enough to prevent Anuradha (14.28) from bagging the Gold. Fellow Indian Poonam Bojanna clocked 14.61 to settle for the Bronze.
Among others, Sourav Vij won the men's shot put Gold with a 17.43m heave, while compatrtiot Kuldeep Mann (16.75) got the Silver.
In women's high jump, Tessymol Joseph (1.68) was the lone Indian on the podium, finishing with the Bronze. In women's discus throw, Sri Lankan BLPN Wijesundara (47.50) won the Gold, followed by the Indian duo of Saroj Sihag (45.67) and Priyanka Bhanot (43.29).
In men's 400m hurdle too, India had to be satisfied with a Bronze that came through Joseph Abraham (51.66). Indian athletes had a fruitless day in men's 110m hurdles with R Mathew finishing fourth in the event.
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