Federation cup: Neeraj beats the heat and Manu’s challenge

    World and Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra, who travelled more than 4,000km after competing in the Doha Diamond League on May 10, adapted to a different weather condition to the best of his ability to measure 82.27m and win the men’s javelin gold in the National Federation athletics meet at the Kalinga Stadium here on Wednesday.

    On a humid evening, Neeraj, who was competing in India for the first time since winning the Olympic gold three years ago, was the centre of attraction.

    With Olympic champion hurdler Anier Garcia, Olympic hockey gold medallist M.M. Somaya and Worlds bronze medallist Anju Bobby George in attendance, Neeraj did not disappoint around 2,000 fans who greeted and backed him with loud cheers and whistles.

    Early lead

    D.P. Manu took an early lead by throwing 82.06m, to which Neeraj, who was second in the order, managed 82m.

    The two were engaged in a battle for gold and silver, while the others, including local star and Asian Games silver medallist Kishore Jena could not impress. Jena threw 75.25m in his sixth attempt to end up fifth.

    Manu held his lead till the half-way mark before Neeraj, who changed his jersey after three throws, pulled off his best effort and jumped to the top spot. As Manu fouled his last two attempts, Neeraj, who had a long discussion with his coach Klaus Bartonietz, preferred to skip his last two and conserve energy ahead of a busy calendar leading up to the Olympics.

    With an 82.23m throw, Neeraj had last won a competition at the South Asian Games in Guwahati in 2016.

    Praveen Chithravel, who had achieved 17.12m in the Indian Grand Prix in Bengaluru, leaped to 16.79m to take the triple jump gold, but was disappointed to perform well below the Olympic qualifying mark of 17.22m.

    Other prominent jumpers including Eldhose Paul and Abdulla Aboobaker finished second and fourth respectively.

    Ajmal wins 400m

    Muhammed Ajmal clocked 45.91 for the men’s 400m title, while seasoned quartermiler M.R. Poovamma timed 53.32 to claim the women’s crown. It was Ajmal’s season best time.

    The fastest runners of the event, Gurindervir Singh (10.35) and Sneha S.S. (11.63), also recorded their best performances of the season.

    The results (finals): Men: 100m: 1. Gurindervir Singh (Pun) 10.35, 2. Animesh Kujur (Odi) 10.50, 3. Harjit Singh (Pun) 10.56; 400m: 1. Muhammed Ajmal (Ker) 45.91, 2. Santhosh Kumar T. (TN) 46.48, 3. Vikrant Panchal (Har) 46.62.

    1500m: 1. Mehedi Hassan (Asm) 3:42.82, 2. Abhishek Singh Thakur (MP) 3:43.49, 3. Yoonus Shah (UP) 3:44.25; 10,000m: 1. Mohan Saini (Goa) 30:41.65, 2. Puneet Yadav (Har) 30:42.78, 3. Ankit Deshwal (Har) 30.44.32.

    Triple jump: 1. Praveen Chithravel (TN) 16.79m, 2. Eldhose Paul (Ker) 16.59m, 3. Mohammed Salahuddin (TN) 16.25m.

    Javelin: 1. Neeraj Chopra (Har) 82.27m, 2. Manu D.P. (Kar) 82.06m, 3. Uttam Patil (Mah) 78.39m.

    Women: 100m: 1. Sneha S.S. (Kar) 11.63, 2. Giridharani Ravikumar (TN) 11.67, 3. Srabani Nanda (Odi) 11.76.

    400m: 1. M.R. Poovamma (Kar) 53.32, 2. Summy (Har) 53.46, 3. Vithya Ramraj (TN) 53.52.

    1500m: 1. Akshana (MP) 4:23.65, 2. Nikita Sharma (HP) 4:25.05, 3. Amandeep Kaur (Pun) 4:28.10; 10,000m: 1. Soniya (Ukd) 37:15.29, 2. Pooja Yadav (UP) 37:17.44, 3. Prajakta Godbole (Mah) 37: 27.34.

    Hammer: 1. Harshita Sehrawat (Del) 59.10m, 2. Tanya Chaudhary (UP) 56.51m, 3. Manpreet Kaur (Pun) 56.4m.

    High jump: 1. Abhinaya Shetty (Kar) 1.77m, 2. Angel Devasia (Ker) 1.74m, 3. Most Ritu Akhtar (Ban) 1.71m.

    Heptathlon (after seven events): 1. Agasara Nandini (Tel) 5460, 2. Anamika K.A. (Ker) 4997, 3. Deepika S. (TN) 4817.

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