A year back, Anju Bobby George carrying a heel injury, huffed and puffed leaping 6.21 metres while picking up the silver behind Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypaklova in the Pune-leg of the 5th Asian Grand Prix Athletics Championships.
And on Wednesday, Anju taking the long jump pit after a long injury lay-off could only manage 6.21 metres. Requiring a gargantuan effort to book her ticket for the Osaka World Championships, Anju looked a pale shadow of her own self. Facing the wrath of the wind resistance, she struggled to get the required elevation to go anywhere close to the magic mark of 6.60 metres – the qualifying mark set for the Osaka world meet.
But all is not lost for Anju as far as qualifying for the World championships is concerned. The ace Keralite is expected to participate in quite a few Grand Prix events in Europe.That probably explains why husband-coach Robert Bobby George is not unduly perturbed by Anju’s insipid showing here.
If the mood among Anju’s supporters was downcast, Renjith Maheshwary gave the hosts plenty to cheer about as he scooped up the men’s triple jump gold in style with a best leap of 16.78 metres. Renjith, endured two foul jumps in his bid to go all out for a distance above 17 metres.
The real thrill for the spectators came in the form of the women’s 100m final. Sri Lankan sprint queen Sushanthika Jayasinghe was up against Uzbekistan ‘s Guzel Kubbieva to whom she played bridesmaid in the Bangkok and Guwahati legs.
Sinimole Paulose became the second India to sew up the golden hat-trick when she romped in the women’s 1500m final. Sinimole ran a matured race lagging behind initially before get the much-needed kick at the right time to make a mockery of the contest towards the end as she broke away from the rest of the pack on the home bend to court glory. “I’m not entirely happy. The wet surface didn’t allow me to put my best foot forward,” she bemoaned in her hour of happiness.
Surender Singh once again swapped 1-2 positions with Sunil Kumar in the men’s 3000 final. The Army man blazed to victory clocking 8:01:86 secs, while Sunil managed 8:02:02 secds.
Chitra Soman’s rode largely unchallenged to take the gold in the women’s 400m final timing 53.19 secs. But the day belonged to Joseph Abraham, who snapped up the gold with a personal best of 49.86 secs in an event featuring Doha Asiad silver medallist Meng Yan of China. The CRPF sub-inspector mounted a late charge overtaking Kazakhstan’s Yevgeniy Meleshenko at the last hurdle to touch the finish line.
India also made its presence felt in the throwing events as well. Saurabh Vij lapped up the gold in men’s shot put, hurling the iron ball to a distance of 17.36 metres. In men’s discuss throw, Vikas Gowda flung the discuss to a distance of 59.96 metres, not enough to take gold as he finished behind Iranian strongman Sammi Abbas who send the discuss to a distance of 61.86 metres to cap a hat-trick of wins.
Results: Men: 100m: 1. Liang Jia Hong (China) 10.38s, 2. Sittichai Suwonprateep (Thailand) 10.52, 3. Wachara Sondee (Thailand) 10.55; 400m: 1. Wang Liangyu (China) 46.22s, 2. Reza Bouazar (Iran) 46.60, 3. Prasanna Amarasekara (Sri Lanka) 46.61; 1,500m: 1. Sajad Moradi (Iran) 3 mins, 41.14 secs, 2. Hamza Chatholi (India) 3:44.21, 3. Joseph Sajeesh (India) 3:44.42; 3000m: 1. Surendra Singh (India) 8 mins, 01.86 secs, 2. Sunil Kumar (India) 8:02.02, 3. Amirov (Tajakistan) 8:16.42; 4x100m relay: 1. China 39.773 secs, 2. Thailand 39.779, 3. India 40.53; 4x400m relay: 1. Sri Lanka 3 mins, 07.31 secs, 2. India 3:08.86, 3. India B 3:10.13; 400m hurdles: 1. Joseph Abraham (India) 49.86 secs, 2. Yevgeniy Meleshenko (Kazakhstan) 49.94, 3. Kuldev Singh (India) 50.94; Triple Jump: 1. Renjith Maheshwary (India) 16.78m, 2. Roman Valiyev (Kazakhstan) 16.62, 3. Binu Mathew (India) 16.54; High Jump: 1. Kim Young-Min (Korea) 2.15m, 2. Hari Shankar Roy (India) 2.15, 3. Sergey Zassimovich (Kazakhstan) 2.10; Shot put: 1. Saurabh Vij (India) 18.51m, 2. Gholum Ahmed (Kuwait) 18.38, 3. Polyemg Chatchawal (Thailand) 17.46. Discus throw: 1. Samimi Abbas (Iran) 61.86m, 2. Vikas Gowda (India) 59.96, 3. Wu Tao (China) 56.73; Women: 100m: 1. Susanthika Jayasinghe (Sri Lanka) 11.34ss, 2. Guzel Khubbieva (Uzbekistan) 11.43, 3. Vu Thi Huong (Vietnam) 11.54; 400m: 1. Chitra K Soman (India) 53.19 secs, 2. Marina Maslyonko (Kazakhstan) 53.77, 3. Olga Tereshkova (Kazakhstan) 54.11; 1,500m: Sinimol Poulose (India) 4 mins, 16.56 secs, 2. Sushma (India) 4:22.58, 3. Svetlana Lukasheva (Kazakhstan) 4:24.33; 4x100m relay: 1. Thailand 44.0 secs, 2. China 44.07, 3. Singapore 47.53; 4x400m relay: 1. China 3 mins, 32.56 secs, 2. India 3:33.79, 3. Kazakhstan 3:42.07; 100m hurdles: 1. Anastasiya Vinogradova (Kazakhstan) 13.22 secs, 2. Natalya Ivaniskaya (Kazakhstan) 13.45, 3. Sheena Atilano (Philippines) 13.65; Long Jump: 1. Anju Bobby George (India ) 6.21 m, 2. M H Prashusha (India) 5.76, 3. Sushmita Singha Roy (India) 5.72; High Jump: 1. Marina Aitova (Kazakhstan) 1.93m, 2. Nadezhda Dusanova (Uzbekistan) 1.91, 3. Bui Thi Nhung (Vietnam) 1.85; Triple Jump: 1. Xie Limei (China) 13.95m, 2. Li Qian (China) 13.56, 3. Sardi Rakhima (Kazakhstan) 13.48; Javelin Throw: 1. Pamang Buoban (Thailand) 54.89m, 2. Xue Juan China) 51.71, 3. Liliya Dusmetova (Uzbekistan) 49.70; Shot Put: 1. Li Ling (China) 18.15m, 2. Lin Chia-Ying (Tapei) 16.36, 3. Lee Mi-Young (Korea) 16.29.