Mayookha, OM prakash win bronze in Asian athletics


Staff member
New Delhi July 10:

India won two bronze medals through Mayookha Johny in triple jump and Om Prakash Singh Karhana in shot- put on the third day of the Asian Athletics Championships in Kobe, Japan.

Mayookha, who won gold in the long jump on the opening day of the event, came up with another good performance in the triple jump. The Kerala girl created a new national record, clearing 14.11 metres in her fourth leap. Mayookha also booked a berth for the London Olympics bettering the 'B' standard (14.10) of qualifying mark for the mega event.

Mayookha's compatriot M.A. Prajusha finished seventh with a jump of 13.63 metres. China's Xie Limei won the gold with a season's best 14.54m while Valeriya Kanatov of Uzbekistan (14.14m) won the silver. In men's shot-put, defending champion Om Prakash won bronze with a throw of 19.47m. Ming-Huang Chang of Chinese Taipei won the gold with a championship record of 20.14m. China's Jun Zhang won the silver (19.77m).

Another Indian, Saurabh Vij, (18.72) finished fourth. India have now eight medals -- one gold, one silver and six bronze. Decathelete Bharat Inder Singh, discus thrower Harwant Kaur and O.P. Jaisha in women's 1,500 metres won bronze Friday, adding to Mayookha's gold and Vikas Gowda's silver and Preeja Sreedharan in the women's 10,000m on the opening day. In the 400m hurdle Saturday, Satinder Singh came sixth with a timing of 51.93sec.

In women's 5,000m, Kavita Raut (16:23.06) came a distant eigth and Suriya Loganathan (17:19.44) ninth. In the men's competition, Suresh Kumar came sixth (14:05.64). D.R.Mootumaa of Bahrain won the event with a new championship record of 13:39.71. In the process, he bettered the timing of India's Bahadur Prasad, who clocked 13:41.70 in 1993 and has since held the record. It was also the first gold medal for Bahrain at 5,000m in the Asian Championships.

After two good days, Sushmita Singha Roy had a disappointing third day in heptathalon. She finished fourth with 5,179 points. In the three events Saturday, she came ninth in the 800 m and fifth in the long jump and javelin throw. Ghamanda Ram (1:51.76) and S. Joseph (1:52.97) qualified for the men's 800m finals at seventh and eighth places. India's promising Tintu Luka would be competing in the 800m on the last day of the meet Sunday.

Tintu will look to wrest her first Asian title amidst the expected domination by the Central Asians -- Viktoriya Yalovtseva and Margarita Matsko of Kazakhstan and Anna Sidorova of Uzbekistan. The PT Usha trainee managed only sixth place last time. She was unable to find her feet in the Asian Games, too, though she managed to hang on for the bronze. She is more experienced now, though a hamstring strain had curtailed her training early season. Tintu will have to come up with her season's best performance to win a medal. Her season's best of 1:59.17 puts her in the sixth place among 10 contenders.

Also in action Sunday will be Asian Games gold medallist Sudha Singh in steeplechase. The Indian had pulled off a surprise victory in the Asian Games. Japanese Minori Hayakami, bronze medallist in the Games, is the leading steeplechaser this season. Sudha is second (9:55.67) behind Minori (9:52.77) in the season's best timings. India will also compete in the men's and women's 4x400m relay.

It is a completely new team in the women's relay with three of the four members, Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose and Ashiwni Akkunji, who were in the gold medal winning team in the CWG and Asian Games, replaced from the squad after they failed dope test. Mrudula Korada, Tintu Luka, Sushmita Singha Roy, Jhuma Khatun, O.P. Jaisha form the new team.