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Binu attains Olympic qualification mark
April 15, 2004 22:09 IST
Kerala's K M Binu qualified for the Athens Olympics, winning the men's 400 metres while star long jumper Anju B George opened her 2004 season winning the women's long jump title in the first ONGC National Athletics Circuit Meet in Delhi on Thursday.
In the much-awaited women's long jump, Anju proved once again that she is a class above the rest of her compatriots, leaping to a distance of 6.66 metres to win the gold medal.
J J Shobha of Andhra Pradesh was second with a jump that measured 6.56m, ahead of G G Pramila (Karnataka, 6.54m).
Binu, who had switched from the 800m, ran a superb race to win the gold in 45.59 seconds, beating the challenge of Tamil Nadu's P Ramachandran (46.30s) and K J Manoj Lal (46.40s).
Binu's effort before empty galleries at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium also saw him attaining the Olympics 'B' qualification mark of 45.95 seconds, set by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
In the women's 400m, Police athletes Manjit Kaur and Rajwinder Kaur joined S Geetha of Andhra Pradesh in attaining the Olympics 'B' mark of 52.30 seconds.
Manjit won the gold in 51.90 seconds, beating Rajwinder, who touched the tape in 52.01s. In third place was Chitra K Soman of Jharkhand, who clocked 52.81 seconds.
Geetha had made the grade at the recent SAF Games in Islamabad.
The Police team had more reason to cheer when Harwant Kaur went past the Olympics B mark in the women's discus throw.
She finished second with an effort of 60.69m behind favourite Neelam J Singh, who won the gold with 60.76m. Seema Antil was a distant third at 56.14m.
With this the total number of Indian athletes to attain the Olympics qualification mark rose to eight.
Those who have made the grade so far are Amritpal Singh (men's long jump), K M Binu (men's 400m), Anju Bobby George (women's long jump), Neelam Jaswant Singh and Harwant Kaur
(both women's discus throw), J J Shobha (heptathlon) S Geetha, Manjit Kaur and Rajwinder Kaur (all women's 400m).
Services sprinter Anil Kumar emerged a clear winner in the men's 200m, clocking 20.84 seconds. The effort was just outside his own national mark of 20.73 seconds, set in 2000.
Railways' Piyush Kumar came second in 21.15s ahead of Tamil Nadu's H Jayachandran, who finished in 21.34 seconds.
In the men's long jump, new national record holder Amritpal Singh failed to turn up. But CRPF's Rajesh Babu cleared 7.63m to upset SAF gold medallist Railways' Maha Singh (7.48m). CRPF's Rajeev Kumar came third with 7.41m.
In the men's shot put, the battle was between Police's Bahadur Singh and Navpreet Singh and in the end Bahadur won the gold with a heave of 19.72m.
Navpreet got the silver for his 19.39m and Kuldeep Mann of CISF won the third place with 17.59m.
Earlier, before winning medals in long jump, Shobha won the women's 100m hurdles, clocking 13.72 seconds ahead of Promila (13.99s) and ONGC's Dipti Vidya (15.46).