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Preeja qualifies for Beijing Olympics

Source: PTI
June 15, 2008 16:01 IST
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Preeja Sreedharan has achieved the 'B' qualifying norms for the Beijing Olympics after finishing runner-up in the 10,000m run of the British Miles Club Elite Grand Prix in London by slicing more than a minute from the national record timing set by her.

Sreedharan finished second behind local Jo Pavey on Saturday with a new national record timing of 32:04.41s, an improvement of more than a minute from her previous record of 33:19.71s set in Kolkata on May 13 last year.

So far there is no qualification from India in this event and if none other athlete makes the cut in 'A' category -- which has higher benchmark -- in the competitions to be held till July 23, Sreedharan will represent the country at the Beijing Games.

However in the men's section, it was heartbreak for Surendra Singh, who broke a 32-year-old record in 10,000m run (28:48.72s) set in the 1976 Montreal Olympics by Hari Chand, with a timing of 28:22.79s but fell short of breaching the Olympic qualifying time.

Surendra was running in the UK Olympic trials at Watford, outside of London. By breaking the record, he improved his personal best by more than 30 seconds.

Surendra exploited perfect weather conditions with an average of 2min 52sec per kilometre till the nine-km mark and surged ahead in final kilometre which he completed in 2min 49sec. Sandip Kumar finished fourth with a new personal best of 29:17.97s.

Rajeev Ramesan clocked his personal best in 800m with a timing of 1:47.20s to win the overall 800m run, while Sajeesh Joseph grabbed the second place with a timing of 1:47.67s.

The Indian team will return to Watford on June 18 to take part in BMC Gold races. The Indian athletes have set three national records after arriving in London. The team is training at Newham Sports Academy run by Olympic gold medallist Tessa Sanderson, OBE at Newham, host borough of London 2012 Olympics.

Results:

(Men)
800 metres : 1. Rajeev Ramesan,(India) 1:47.20s; 2. Sajeesh Joseph (India) 1:47.67s; 3. David Mccarthy (Ireland) 1:47.96s

1500m B:  3. Paritam Bind (India) 3:42.91s; 5. Ravinder (India) 3:43.83s;

10000m : 1. Surender Singh (India) 28:22.79s NR; 2. Antony Ford ( Blackpool Wyre & Fylde) 28:30.39s; 3.Phil Nicholls (Tipton) 28:54.95s 4. Sandip Kumar (India) 29:17.97s

(Women)
800m: 8. Sushma Devi (India) 02:05.90s; 1500m: 1. Deirdre Byrne (Ireland) 4:10.92s, 2. Sinimole Paulose (India) 4:13.15s, 3.Emma Pallant (England) 4:13.76s;

10000m : 1. Jo Pavey (Exeter) 31:56.90s; 2. Preeja Sreedharan (India) 32:04.41s NR; 3. Hayley Yelling (Windsoe Sloguh) 32:39.80s.

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