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Deccan Herald

Friday 22 October 2010
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Relay quartet stands out on night of riches
From Rajeev K, New Delhi, Oct 12, DHNS:

With the roar of the capacity crowd sending their energy levels soaring, India revelled at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on Tuesday, with a gold and four bronze medals making it one of their best ever nights in global athletics.

The women’s 4x400M relay team led the Indian medal rush, winning the gold medal with a superb run while the country also won bronze medals in men’s javelin, men’s triple jump and the sprint relays in both categories to end the action at the main venue on a rare high.

With only the marathon to come, India have a tally of two gold, three silver and seven bronze medals – their best-ever performance in a Commonwealth Games.

On a Terrific Tuesday, all the attention was on the women’s longer relay team, and understandably so. They were silver medallists in Melbourne 2006 and with the field not too strong this time, hopes of another medal were indeed high. But no one had expected it to be of the highest order.

The experienced Manjeet Kaur ran a steady first leg but Nigeria held the lead at the first changeover. Sini Jose kept India close to the leaders in the second leg but it was AC Ashwini who ran the decisive segment. As the cheer from the crowd reached deafening proportions, Ashwini swung into lead in the back straight and stayed strong to hand over a comfortable lead to Mandeep Kaur.

India’s anchor didn’t falter one bit, running a strong lap to float into the arms of victory, with the team clocking 3:27.77. Nigeria came second in 3:28.72 and England claimed the bronze in 3:29.51.

Kashinath Naik had got India off to a bronze medal start on the day, with a 74.29M effort in javelin, coming behind Australia’s Jarrod Bannister (81.71) and New Zealand’s Stuart Farquhar (78.15). As the evening progressed, more bronze medals began to trickle into India’s bag. The women’s 4x100 relay team comprising Sathi Geetha, Srabani Nanda, PK Priya and HM Jyothi flew to bronze in 45.25 seconds, beating the likes of Jamaica in the final.

The men’s team followed suit. Rahmatullah Molla, S Sathya, Shameer Mon and Abdul Najeeb Qureshi had set a national record of 39.00 seconds to qualify for the final and they bettered it in blazing fashion, timing 38.89 to come behind England and Jamaica. Their baton exchange wasn’t really smooth on Monday but it was a shade better on Tuesday as they made a bigger impact.

The medal fever then spread to the triple jump pit, where Renjith Maheswary raised the roof with his third-round effort of 17.07 metres. A national record – improving his own mark of 17.04 – the leap was enough to seal him the bronze medal, behind Nigeria’s Tosin Oke (17.16) and Hugo Mamba (17.14) of Cameroon.

Amidst the flurry of medals, the men’s 4x400 team finishing seventh was barely noticed. Nor did anyone notice world champion Vivian Cheruiyot’s convincing win in the women’s 5000 metres in 15:55.12. It was that kind of night.

Results: Men: 1500M: Silas Kiplagat (Kenya) 3:41.78, 1; James Magut (Kenya) 3:42.27, 2; Nick Willis (New Zealand) 3:42.38, 3.
Triple jump: Tosin Oke (Nigeria) 17.16 metres, 1; Hugo Mamba (Cameroon) 17.14, 2; Renjith Maheswary (India) 17.07 (National record. Old: 17.04, Renjith) 3.
Javelin throw: Jarrod Bannister (Australia) 81.71 metres, 1; Stuart Farquhar (New Zealand) 78.15, 2; Kashinath Naik (India) 74.29, 3. Rajender Singh (India) 73.72, 4; Samarjeet Singh (India) 68.84, 8.
4x100M relay: England 38.74 seconds, 1; Jamaica 38.79, 2; India (Rahmatulla Molla, Sathya Suresh, Shameer Mon, Abdul Najeeb Qureshi) 38.89 (National record. Old: 39.00), 3.
4x400M relay: Australia 3:03.30, 1; Kenya 3:03.84, 2; England 3:03.97, 3. India (Kunhumuhammed, Bibin Mathew, S K Mortaja, Bineesh) 3:07.60, 7.
Women: 5000M: Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya) 15:55.12, 1; Silvia Kibet (Kenya) 15:55.61, 2; Ines Chenonge (Kenya) 16:02.47, 3.
Pole vault: Aiana Boyd (Australia) 4.40 metres, 1; Marianna Zachariadi (Cyprus) 4:40, 2; Kate Dennison (England) 4.25, 3.
4x100M relay: England 44.19 seconds, 1; Ghana 45.24, 2; India (S Geetha, Srabani Nanda, P K Priya, H M Jyothi) 45.25, 3.
4x400M relay: India (Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, A C Ashwini, Mandeep Kaur) 3:27.77, 1; Nigeria 3:28.72, 2; England 3:29.51, 3.
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