Best-ever show by Indian athletes

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Old 11-Oct-2010
Saini Sa'aB
Best-ever show by Indian athletes

Best-ever show by Indian athletes

Vikas Gowda

Canada's Alice Falaiye competes in the long jump final of the Track and Field competition. Alice leapt 6.50 metres to win long jump gold. PTI

New Delhi, October 10
India failed to end their 52 year-old athletics gold medal jinx in the Commonwealth Games by a whisker but completed their best ever show in any Games in the blue riband discipline by winning two silver medals here today.

Women long jumper Malliakkal Prajusha was pipped to the post for gold by Canadian Alice Falaiya who leapt 6.50m in her sixth and last jump to emerge winner ahead of the Indian who finished second with 6.47m.
After the fifth round, Prajusha was leading with 6.47m which she did in her fourth attempt before the Canadian broke the hearts of the nearly 50,000 strong supporters who waited with bated breath with the expectation that the country will finally bag its first gold medal since 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh won a yellow metal in 1958 in Cardiff in the then 440 yard race.
When Alice Falaiya cleared 6.50m in her last jump, the near capacity crowd at the showpiece stadium was stunned to pindrop silence.
Prajusha made one last effort to better the Canadian but could not and had to settle for silver.
"In my last two jumps my left calf was tight. That has affected my performance. But I am not disappointed as I have given my best. I thought I would win the gold but could not at the end. I thank the crowd for their support," she said later.
Before Prajusha's feat, Vikas Gowda won a silver in men's discus throw as India enjoyed their best day in athletics on the fifth day of competition.
United States-based Gowda, who also holds the national record of 64.96m, finished second with a throw of 63.69m, his season's best. Australia's Benn Harradine, the season's leader among Commonwealth discus throwers, won gold by clearing a distance of 65.45m while Carl Myerscough bagged the with an effort of 60.64m.
With the two silver medals today, India have bagged four medals in athletics so far in the Delhi Games with Kavita Raut (women's 10,000m race) and Harminder Singh (men's 20km walk race) having already won a bronze each.
This is the best performance of Indian athletes in any Games, the next best being in 2006 in Melbourne where they had won medals in three events -- silver in women's 4X400m relay, silver in women's discus throw by Seema Antil and bronze in men's para sport discus throw by Ranjith Kumar Jayaseelam.
But the historic day was marred by Gowda lashing out at Athletics Federation of India for not giving him accreditation or at least a pass to his father Shive Gowda to accompany him on the field as coach. "My father was my coach before I went to United States for training. So I wanted him to be on the field as I need a coach. But that was not possible. I have been telling the federation to give him an accreditation. I requested them on October 1 to do this," he added. PTI

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