Durgesh Kumar Pal and R Elavarasi clinched gold medals in the mens and womens 400 metres hurdles respectively on the first day of the 53rd National Open Athletics Championships at the Birsa Munda Sports Complex in Ranchi.
SSCBs Pal clocked 50.89 to finish first in the mens event,failing to break the 2009 meet record of 50.26 set by Joseph G Abraham of the RSCB. Jithin Paul (51.14) of the RSPB and his fellow team mate Joseph G Abraham (51.31) finished second and third respectively.
Olympian P T Ushas meet record of 56.80 set in 1985 remained intact with Tamil Nadus Elavarasi fetching gold in the 400 metres womens hurdles clocking a distant 1:00.80.
Her personal best was 59.2. I took a long break after the 2012 National Games,when I won the gold in the same event. But I will strive to improve my timing, Elavarasi said. ONGCs Anju Rani (1:01:55) and A Papathi (1:01.88) of the police settled for silver and bronze medals respectively.
In the mens 5000 metre,G Lakshmanan (13:58.53) of the Services won the gold medal,while Suresh Kumar (14:01.60) and Inderjit Patel (14:19.70),both of the ONGC,secured silver and bronze medals.
Railways athletes L Surya (16:24.58) grabbed gold and Preeja Sreedharan (16:27.70) silver in the womens 5000m race while ONGCs Kavita Raut (16:33.50) secured the bronze. In the long jump,M Prajusha (6.25 metre) and V Neena (6.20 metre) of the Railways finished with gold and silver respectively while Punjabs Bhumika Thakur (5.95 metre) settled for the bronze.