Rio Olympics-bound shot putter Manpreet Kaur stole the limelight as Indians pocketed five gold medals from athletics on the opening day of the event at the 12th South Asian Games, in Guwahati, on Tuesday.
India won five gold, six silver and three bronze from nine events held at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium.
Sri Lanka gave the home athletes tough fight by winning four gold, a silver and five bronze.
Kaur won the day’s first athletics gold in the women’s shot put with a throw of 17.94 metres.
Her namesake, Manpreet Junior, took the silver with an effort of 15.94m while W Fernando bagged the bronze with 14.87m in a four-woman field.
Railways’ shot putter Manpreet fell short of equalling her own National record of 17.96m, set while qualifying for the Olympics during the 55th National Open Athletics Championship last year, by just two centimetres.
Neeraj Kumar won India’s second gold from the men’s hammer throw with an effort of 66.14m.
Pakistan’s Shakeel Ahmed took silver in 63.67m while L Alansan of Sri Lanka won bronze in 46.38m.
Mayookha Johny won gold in the women's long jump, clearing 6.43m in his sixth and final attempt.
Another Indian, G Shradha, bagged the silver in 6.19m while N C D Priyadarshini of Sri Lanka, the season’s leader before the event, took the bronze with an effort of 5.89m.
In the men's and women's 5000m, Indians finished one-two.
Man Singh won the men’s 5000m in a Games’ record time of 14 minutes and 2.04 seconds while compatriot Suresh Kumar was second in 14:02.70 seconds. Nepal’s Rimal Hari Kumar was third in 14:32.18s.
In the women’s 5000m, L Surya clocked 15 minutes and 45.75 seconds to win the event in a Games’ record time ahead of country-mate Swaty Gadhave, who clocked 16:14.57s to bag the silver.
However, Indians disappointed in the 100m dash for both men and women as the Sri Lankans ran away with the honours.
As expected, Himasha Eashan won the 100m in a Games’ record time of 10.28 seconds. India’s Gaurav Kumar finished a distant seventh in 10.96s.
In the women’s 100m, Sri Lankan R Rathnayaka sprinted her way to gold in 11.71 seconds, ahead of India’s Srabani Nanda (11.72s) and Dutee Chand (11.75s).
In the women’s 800m, though, India’s M Gomathi could win a bronze in 2:10.99s.