Patiala, March 16: Dharun Ayyasamy bettered his own national record to claim gold medal in the men's 400m hurdles at the 23rd Federation Cup even as eight athletes qualified for the Doha Asian Athletics Championships on the second day of the competition, here on Saturday.
Ayyasamy clocked 48.80 seconds to erase his own national mark of 48.96, which he had set at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. Ayyasamy’s effort was more than enough to meet the qualification standard of 50.00 for the Asian Championships, set by the Athletics Federation of India. "I can go even faster. My goal is to record a time of 48.50. Maybe I will do it at the Asian Championships," said Ayyasamy after the race.
Ayyasamy finished far ahead of the field with Kerala's MP Jabir clocking 49.53s to claim silver. M Ramchandran of Tamil Nadu took the bronze medal with a time of 50.57. Saritaben Gayakwad of Gujarat set a new meet record in the women's 400m hurdles with a timing of 57.21. The previous meet record of 57.39 stood in the name of Anu Rani who had recorded that mark in the 2017 edition of the tournament.
Arpitha M of Karnataka closely followed Gayakwad, stopping the clock at 57.45. With the qualifying guideline standing at 57.50, both athletes booked their ticket to Doha. Jauna Murmu would have to be satisfied with the bronze medal with her time of 57.58. Two more runners – Gomathi Marimuthu of Tamil Nadu and Twinkle Chaudhary of Punjab -- qualified for the Doha event in the women's 800m.
Marimuthu clocked 2.03.21 while Chaudhary followed her with a time of 2.03.67. Both times were well under the qualification standard of 2.05.00. A surprise was in store in the men's triple jump competition with Youth Olympics bronze medalist Praveen Chitravel upsetting Asian Games gold medalist Arpinder Singh. Chitravel recorded a personal best jump of 16.51m to both claim gold medal and also qualify for the Asian Championships.
While Chitravel claimed his first gold medal at the Federation Cup, Arpinder Singh finished outside the medal bracket. Singh who was training in Chula Vista, California, finished in fourth place with a best jump of 16.34m. Mohammad Zuber (16.38m) of Uttar Pradesh finished second ahead of Mohammad Salahuddin (16.36m). While jumps were not of the highest standard in the men’s triple jump, the men’s javelin throw saw several throws of the highest quality.
The competition was won by Shivpal Singh who threw the spear to 82.56m. He was followed by Vipin Kasana (81.23m). While Singh had already qualified for the Asian Championships with a throw of 81.48m in the qualifying round, Kasana reserved ticket to Doha with his throw which exceeded the AFI qualification standard of 80.75m. Rajender Singh claimed bronze with an effort of 79.75m.