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West Zone Jr Athletics:Maharashtra steal opening day honour

Written by: Staff

Pune, Sep 17 (UNI) In their quest for retaining the overall supremacy, hosts Maharashtra started with a bang as their boys and girls monopolised the long distance races in their respective age groups on the opening day of the three-day West Zone Junior Athletic Championship here today.

Avadesh Kumar Pal and Deepali Ingale in boys and girls under-18 and Muninder Singh in the boys under-20 category, won gold medals each to give Maharashtra a head start in defence of their title.

The best fare of the morning session was witnessed in the 5,000-meter race for boys under-18 category which was a near photo finish, seldom seen in long distance races. Avadesh Kumar, presently training at the Army Sports Institute (ASI) in Ghorpadi, won the demanding race by whiskers clocking 16 minutes 17.3 seconds, piping a gritty Sandeep Kalgude, also of Maharashtra at the post by merely point one tenth of a second. Sandeep recorded the time of 16:17:4 while Lalbahadur Verma of Madhya Pradesh took the bronze with a time of 17:10:5.

The corresponding 5,000-meter girls under-18 race saw a tussle between Deepali Ingale and Reshma Patil of the hosts, which the former won after making a final burst stopping the clock at 19:53:5.

While Rehma's vain bid to match her team mate fetched her the silver with a time of 20:08:4, Umeshwari Tekam of Chhatisgarh claimed the bronze finishing in a time of 21:18:3.

Gutsy Muninder Singh, also belonging to ASI, ran a calculated race to get the better of Santosh Kumar Bhatam of Madhya Pradesh and Shabir Patel of Maharashtra. Making a move at the right moment, Singh made his final move and breezed past the finish in a time of 32 minutes 48.2 seconds to capture the gold. Santosh, having clocked 33:11:2 and Patel 33:41:00 picked up the silver and the bronze respectively.

Chief Income Tax Commissioner, Pune, Mr Santosh Datta, who was the guest of honour, inaugurated the championship. Organising secretary and noted city builder Mr Bharat Dsserdla welcomed the guests.

Maharashtra Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA) general secretary Mr Pralhad Sawant, who is also the secretary of the Pune International Marathon Trust (PIMT) hosting the meet, read out a brief report.

National judge and referee Mr Sumant Waikar proposed a vote of thanks.

500 athletes from six states - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhatisgarh and Goa are vying for honours in the meet which serves as a barometer to select the West Zone squad to take part in the inter-zonal athletic championship to be held at Lucknow in October.

Following are the results : All Finals Boys Under-18 category : 5,000 Meters : Avadesh Kumar Pal (Mah) 1, Sandeep Kalgude (Mah) 2, Lalbahadur Verma (MP) 3 Time 16:17:3 Girls Under-18 category : 5,000 Meters : Deepali Ingale (Mah) 1, Reshma Patil(Mah) 2, Umeshwari Tekam (Chhatisgarh) 3 Time : 19:53:5 Boys Under-20 category : 10,000 Meters : Muninder Singh (Mah) 1, Santosh Kumar Bhatam (MP) 2, Shabir Patel (Mah)3 Time 32:48:2 MORE UNI IS GB AY BS1806

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