Anil Kumar and K M Binu experienced contrasting fortunes in the fourth Athletics Federation of India National Athletics Circuit Meet on Wednesday, with the Armyman improving his own national record in the 100m while the latter unexpectedly brought up the rear in the 400 metres.
Anil, a 28-year old Junior Commissioned Officer from Kerala, came home in 10.30 seconds, bettering his previous record, set in Chennai in 1999, by 0.03 seconds.
Delhi's Sandeep Sarkaria (10.46 seconds) and H Jayachandran of LIC (10.57 seconds) could not match Anil's speed as he pulled away from the pack after a slow start, at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.
In the 400m for men, Services' Anilkumar Rohil beat Bhupinder Singh of ONGC by 0.02 seconds, crossing the line in 46.80 seconds.
But the surprise of the evening was the flop show of K M Binu, who did the country proud by reaching the 400m semi-finals at the Athens Olympics. He finished last in the event.
Binu attributed his poor show to the lack of training since his Athens heroics.
"I have only commenced training two months ago in Jamshedpur and would need some time to get back into rhythm," the athlete said, adding he planned to be ready for next year's Commonwealth and the Asian Games.
Bhupinder Singh (ONGC, 46.82s) and Satbir Singh (Services, 47.00) were second and third respectively.
The country's top athletes were in action at the meet, billed as a fitness test for the probables for the forthcoming Asian Athletics Championship at Incheon, South Korea, from September 1 to 4.
In the women's 100m dash, which saw favourites Poonam Tomar and K M Greeshma go out with foul starts, Kerala's Deepti Jose took the honours in 11.98 seconds.
Mandeep Kaur of Punjab (11.99s) and Karnataka's G D Gowramma (12.09s) finished second and third respectively.
In the 3000m steeple chase, Arun D'Souza won the gold while in the women's pole vault Chetna Solanki beat the challenge of V S Surekha to grab first place.