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Neelam, Shakti bag gold
October 30, 2003 21:54 IST
Neelam J Singh and Shakti Singh bagged gold medals as India finished with five gold in the Afro-Asian Games athletics competition, which concluded in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The day also saw the Nigerians rule the track events and India collect a silver and bronze through long distance runner Sita Ram and shot putter Navpreet Singh respectivelymioth.
Both Neelam (women's discus) and Shakti (men's shot put) were hot favourites for gold today and they did not disappoint.
Busan Asian Games gold medallist Bahadur Singh had to return home empty handed after finishing fourth, behind Navpreet Singh.
Shakti was confidence personified amongst the eight competitors and started off with a throw of 18.72 metres. Though he could not improve upon it in his next three attempts, his fifth throw of 18.77 metres pushed him to the top. But the big man reserved his best for the final throw, which saw him clear 19.05 metres.
The effort is still far below his personal best of 20.42 metres, achieved in Bangalore in 1994.
Neelam was the favourite to grab the gold as her opponents were nowhere near her mark of 64.55 metres, set in Busan Asian Games.
There were, however, doubts about her participation today as she was not feeling well in the morning. But she steadily tested her capabilities against the two Chinese throwers who had competed with her in the Paris World Championships.
A beaming Neelam said she was happy to win the gold medal despite not being in good health in the morning.
"I am happy about my gold medal win. Though I am not equally happy with the 61.94 metre mark, it gives me satisfaction since this is my season's best. This win definitely gives me confidence since I had done much better than Song Aimin, who had defeated me in the World Championships," she said.
Song had finished seventh and Neelam 11th in the Paris World Championships in August.
Sita Ram completed the energy-sapping 10,000 metre walk in 45 minutes 09.4 seconds to take the silver medal behind Aquanouk Moussa of Algeria (43:33.4 secs). Thailand's Samutho Sakghai (45:53.9) won the bronze medal.
Star athlete K M Beenamol was conspicuous by her absence, being forced to sit out with a toe injury.
Nigerian athletes Adetonunonbo Oloji and Endurance Ojokolo became the fastest man and woman of the Games, respectively winning the 100 metres titles.
Both came up with a big surge in the last 30 metres and proved they are a cut above the rest.
The 19-year old Oloji, a silver medallist in the All-African Games was a picture of confidence. He even turned around towards the end of the race before winning in a personal best time of 10.19 seconds.
Oloji said, "I am happy to win the event outside Africa. My aim is to become a world champion."
Oloji had timed 10.29 seconds at the African Games. His compatriot, Tamu Nosiki Atoridibo (10.20secs), and Japan's Shingo Suetsugu (10.36 secs) finished second and third respectively.
India's C T Durai finished sixth and last, clocking 10.75 seconds.
The women's race got off only in the third call, after Edem Edem of Nigeria was disqualified for jumping the gun. The lanky Ojokolo made it a start to finish affair, clocking 11.45 seconds for the gold medal.
100m: 1. Adetonunbo Oloji Fasuba (Nigeria) 10.15 secs; 2.Tamu Nosiki Atoridibo (Nigeria) 10.20 secs; 3.Shingo Suetsugu (Japan) 10.36 secs.
800m: 1. Ismail Ahmed (Sudan) 1 min 46.92 secs; 2. Peter Deshak Abaih (Sudan) 1m:47.48 secs; 3. Samuel Mwera Chegere (Tanzania) 1:47.98 secs.
110m Hurdles: 1. Todd Matthews Jouda (Sudan) 13.68 secs; 2. Masato Naito (Japan) 13.71 secs; 3. Tae Ryong Park (Korea) 13.83 secs.
10,000m walk: 1. Aqua Novk Moussa (Algeria) 43min 33.4 secs; 2. Sita Ram (Ind) 45m:09.4 secs, 3. Samutho Sakghai (Thai) 45m:53.0 secs.
10,000m: 1. Sileshi Sihine (Eth) 27 min 48.40 secs; 2. Gebreeg Ziabher (Eth) 28m:08.79 secs; 3. Boniface Toroitich (Uganda) 28m:12.67 secs.
High Jump: 1.Cui Kai (China) 2.18 metres; 2. Idiata Samson (Nigeria) 2.15 m; 3. Jude Sidonie (Sey) 2.10m.
Triple jump: Takashi Komatsu (Japan) 16.65 metres; 2. Sanou Oliver (Bur) 16.16 m; 3. Mokoena Khotso (RSA) 15.92m.
Hammer throw: 1. Harmse Chris (RSA) 75.67 metres; 2. Dilshod Nazarov (TJK) 69.72 m; 3. Haouem Samir (Algeria) 69.37m.
Shot Put: 1. Shakti Singh (Ind) 19.05 metres; 2. Lambretchs Burger (RSA) 18.97m, 3. Navpreet Singh (Ind) 18.81m.
100m: 1. Endurance Ojokolo (Nigeria) 11.45 secs; 2. Lyubov Perepelova (Uzb) 11.49s, 3. Delphine Bartile Atangana (Cameroon) 11.49s.
800m: 1. Lwiza Msyani John (Tanzania) 2min:01.68 secs; 2. Yuanping Wang (China) 2m:04.36 secs; 3. Errassa Berhane (Eth) 2m:05.31 secs.
5000m: 1. Meseret Defar Tola (Eth) 15min:47.69 secs; 2. Tirunesh Dibaba (Eth) 15m:48.21 secs; 3. Dorcus Inzikuru (Uganda) 16m:33.71s.
400m hurdles: 1. Natalya Torshina (Kazak) 55.81s; 2. Yuehua Yao (China) 56.29s; 3.Wasana Winatho (Thai) 57.09s.
Shot Put: 1. Li Meiju (China) 17.61 metres; 2. Li Fengfeng (China) 17.21 m; 3. Juthaporn Krasaeyan (Thai) 16.63m.
Discus: 1. Neelam J Singh (Ind) 61.94 metres; 2. Li Yanfeng (China) 60.42m, 3. Song Aimin (China) 58.41m.