Report28 Feb 2008

Singha Roy meets Olympic B standard – Indian Federation Cup Report


Susmita Singha Roy celebrates reaching Olympic B standard (© Courtesy of Indian Athletics Federation)

After two days of competition in the Federation Cup Championships in this Central Indian city, only one athlete, heptathlete Susmita Singha Roy, has attained an Olympic standard.

She achieved that on Wednesday, with a tally of 5866 points, against the single-entry criterion of 5800 points. J. J. Shobha, who finished 11th at the Athens Olympics, took third place (5575) behind former Asian champion Soma Biswas (5779) who is on a comeback after her marriage.

Three Indian athletes, triple jumper Renjith Maheswary, discus thrower Vikas Gowda and long jumper Anju Bobby George had already achieved Olympic standards last year.

The Indian outdoor season which started early this year with the Olympic Games in perspective is into its full stride with this open championships that has attracted around 600 athletes from all over the country.

Four personal bests

Singha Roy scored personal bests in shot put (11.44), 200m (23.97), long jump (6.25) and javelin (40.11) as she totalled just six points short of her career-best aggregate that was recorded in Delhi in 2006.

"It could have been a lot better in the hurdles and shot put on the first day," said the 23-year-old Bengal girl who managed only 14.39 in the hurdles against her expectation of a sub-14 timing. She had a 1.73 in high jump and 2:18.28 in the 800 metres.

"I would have been happier had she touched the 'A' standard (6000) so that we could have left behind the qualification worries," said coach Kuntal Roy about Singha Roy's effort.

The most surprising part of Singha Roy's performance was the 40.11 in javelin. Quite often in the past she had flopped in this event, giving away handsome leads to Shobha or Biswas with her throws in the region of 30 metres.

In last year's Fed Cup in Kolkata Singha Roy had actually finished without a mark in the javelin and yet won the gold.

Dr Roy said that foreign experts' opinion, coupled with his own efforts, had helped Singha Roy overcome her shortcoming in javelin to a great extent.

With the selection for the upcoming South Asian Championships (Kochi, March 7-8) dependent on performances here, contests were keen, though quality performances were hard to come by.

Handful of other athletes target Beijing qualifier

Sinimole Paulose, who clocked a 2:03.43 while winning the Asian Indoor title in Doha less than a fortnight ago, won the 800 metres on Wednesday with 2:03.25. Asked about the qualification for the Olympics (standard 2:01.30), Paulose said that she was not pushing herself at this stage, keeping in mind the July deadline and the opportunities that could accrue in the coming months.

Paulose and other middle distance runners who were at one stage planning to compete in the World Indoor Championships have now decided to concentrate on their outdoor season and should compete in the South Asian meet in Kochi.

Apart from Paulose, India has hopes pinned on its male runners in 800 metres, Ramesan Rajeev and Sajeesh Joseph, and 1500 metres runner Chatholi Hamza in the qualification race towards Beijing.

Rajeev and Joseph were slow in the 800 metres final today, though they managed to hold off Ghamanda Ram, who is staging a comeback after a long lay-off due to illness. Rajeev clocked 1:54.15 and Joseph 1:54.18 with Ram taking the bronze in 1:54.78.

In the absence of national record holder Joseph Abraham, Kuldev Singh won the 400 metres hurdles in a personal best 50.48, having clocked a 50.51 in the morning heats. His previous best was 50.70. Coach Rajinder Singh feels that Kuldev Singh and Abraham should be aiming for the national record of 49.51 seconds in the coming weeks.

By an IAAF Corrrespondent

Leading results:
100m: 1. B. G. Nagaraj  10.70, 2. Jamaluddin  10.81, 3. Ritesh Anand  10.87;
200m: 1. P. Muthuswamy  21.79, 2. Ritesh Anand  21.82, 3. Vilas Neelgund 22.05;
800m: 1. Ramesan Rajeev  1:54.15, 2. Sajeesh Joseph  1:54.18, 3. Ghamanda Ram  1:54.78;
5000m: 1. Surendra Singh  14:16.18, 2. Sandeep Kumar Batham  14:23.79, 3. Santosh Kumar Patel  14:24.74;
400m hurdles: 1. Kuldev Singh  50.48, 2. P. Shanker  51.01, 3. Ranjodh Singh  52.54;
Triple jump: 1. Amarjeet Singh  16.19, 2. Bibu Mathew  15.74, 3. Malkiat Singh  15.53;
Hammer: 1. Shahnawaz Khan  59.64, 2. Madhu Kumar  59.11, 3. Jitender Singh  58.22.
Javelin: 1.  Kashi Nath Naik  73.02, 2. Purandar P. J.  70.51, 3. Sandeep Yadav  69.78;
20,000m walk: 1. Gurmeet Singh 1:34:04.23, 2. Ashok Kumar Patel  1:34:36.05, 3. Hari Ram Yadav  1:36:22.53.

100m: 1. H. M. Jyothi  11.89, 2. Mandeep Kaur  11.93, 3. K. Sowjanya  11.98;
200m: 1. K. Sowjanya  24.39, 2. H. M. Jyothi  24.51, 3. Poovamma M. R.  24.75;
800m: 1. Sinimole Paulose  2:03.25, 2. Sushma Devi 2:03.81, Bindhu S. R.  2:08.48;
5000m: 1. Kavita Raut 16:48.37, 2. Preeja Sreedharan  16:48.69, 3. Preethi L. Rao 18:29.29;
100m hurdles: 1. Poonam Bojanna  14.13, 2. Shreema Priyadarshini (Kar) 14.22; 3. P. Lakshmi 14.91;
400m hurdles: 1. V. Leelavathy  59.84, 2. Harpreet Kaur  1:00.08, 3. Shiji John C.  1:02.58; 
High jump: 1. Sahana Kumari  1.81, 2. Siji N. K.  1.70, 3. Mallika Mondal  1.65.
Triple jump: 1. Mayooka Johnny  13.34, 2. M. A. Prajusha  12.65, 3. Alka Chikili  12.44;
Heptathlon: 1. Susmita Singha Roy  5866, 2. Soma Biswas  5779, 3. J. J. Shobha  5575.