High jumper Sangeetha Mohan won the gold and set a new meet record in the process as India experienced mixed fortunes on the third day of athletics competition at the ninth SAF Games in Islamabad on Monday evening.
India could only win five gold, five silver and four bronze medals from the ten events decided today.
Piyush Kumar became the fastest man of the Games, winning the 100 metres in 10.44 seconds, while long distance runner Madhuri A Singh won her second gold, adding the 1500m title to the 800m she had won earlier.
The day also saw 400m runners S Geetha and Chitra K Soman setting personal best marks as they won the gold and silver medals respectively.
The women's high jump was fought between just five athletes but the determination of Sangeetha to improve upon her personal best of 1.80 metres, set in the Federation Cup in
New Delhi last month, helped her win the gold medal. She staved off a stiff challenge from compatriot Sahana Kumari, who settled for silver, clearing 1.75m.
Starting at 1.60 metres, Sangeetha was the clear winner as she crossed the horizontal bar at 1.81 metres. The old mark stood in the name of India's Bobby Aloysius. It was set at Chennai in
1995. Sri Lanka's Priyangika Maduwanthi cleared 1.69 metres for the bronze medal.
The day's other record came in men's high jump as Manjula Kumara soared over 2.20m to eclipse India's N Annavi's mark of 2.15m, set in 1987.
In the 1500m, Madhuri Singh ran a calculated race as she led at the bell. Though Sri Lankan Wimal Chandrani overtook her for a while at the start, the Indian, far superior in her pet event, forged ahead after the 200 metre mark and then never looked back.
Just before the finish line, Madhuri slackened a bit when Pakistani runner Sumera Zahoor tried to close in but the Indian ace was never in trouble.
Star sprinter, Sushanthika Jayasinghe dashed Sri Lanka's hopes of a sure medal when she withdrew from the 100m dash, which was won by her compatriot, Jani Chathurangan. India finished 2-3, with K M Greeshma beating Poonam Tomar.
100 metres: Piyush Kumar (India) 10.44 sec, Vilas Neelgund (India) 10.62, Muhammad Shahbaz (Pakistan) 10.67.
400 metres: Rohan Pradeepakumara (Sri Lanka) 45.89 seconds, Prasanna Amarasekara (Sri Lanka) 45.95, Saghir Ahmad Rana (Pakistan) 46.75.
3000 metres steeplechase: Upendra Bandara (Sri Lanka) 8:57.04, Rajendra Bahadur (Nepal) 8:57.30, Safdar Nazir (Pakistan) 9:10.55.
High jump: Manjula Kumara (Sri Lanka) 2.20 metres (New Games Record. Old: 2.15, N Annavi, 1987), Nalin Priyadarshana (Sri Lanka) 2.11, Omveer Singh (India) 2.09.
Shot Put: Ranvijay Singh (India) 17.41 metres, Kulwinder Singh (India) 16.71, Ashraf Ali (Pakistan) 16.41.
Hammer Throw: Nadeem Ahmed (Pakistan) 62.88 metres, Habibullah (Pakistan) 62.85, Nirbhay Singh (India) 62.77.
100 metres: Jani Chathurangani (Sri Lanka) 11.81 seconds, K M Greeshma (India) 11.96, Poonam Tomar (India) 11.98.
400 metres: S Geetha (India) 52.25 seconds, Chitra K Soman (India) 52.43, Nazmun Nahar (Bangladesh) 55.46.
1500 metres: Madhuri A Singh (India) 4:31.16, Sumaira Zahoor (Pakistan) 4:31.41, Preeja Sreedharan (India) 4:32.24.
High jump: Sangeetha M (India) 1.81 (NGR. Old: 1.80, Bobby Aloysius, 1995), Sahana Kumari (India) 1.75, Priyangika Maduwanthi (Sri Lanka) 1.69.