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Kerala retain overall championship.

Kerala retain overall championship.
Highlights

Annu Rani, the Uttar Pradesh javelin thrower, improved her own national record with a 59.87m throw while Kerala took the overall championship with 164 points as 56th National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships, concluded here on Saturday.

Hyderabad: Annu Rani, the Uttar Pradesh javelin thrower, improved her own national record with a 59.87m throw while Kerala took the overall championship with 164 points as 56th National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships, concluded here on Saturday.

Annu, the Incheon Asian Games bronze medalist, bettered her previous meet mark with her first round 59.06m at G.M.C. Balayogi Stadium. However her big throw of the day (59.87m) came in the fourth round that erased her two-year-old Incheon performance of 59.53m.

Her teammate Suman Devi, who led with a season best 59.45m registered during her gold winning throw in South Asian Games at Guwahati earlier this year, could log only 55.88m in second place today.

Haryana girl Sharmila Kumari was third with 53.80m throw. Both Annu and Suman returned to India along with male javelin throwers Rajender Singh and Vipin Kasana from their European training tour especially to take part in the senior nationals here, while the top two javelin throwers of the season, Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh remain with their coach Gary Calvert for competitions.

Team Kerala took the overall championship with 164 points with neighbouring Tamil Nadu placed runners-up in a close 150 points. TN team finished second in women’s team championship (92 pts) while Haryana did so in men’s with 62 points—that was just 6 points less than Kerala men (68).

Kerala also had another reason to delight as their 400m hurdler Jithin Paul adjudged the best male athlete of the meet. Haryana quarter-miler Nirmala Sheoran, who was the lone qualifier for the Rio Olympics from this five day meet which ended today, adjudged the best female athlete of the championship.

Andhra javelin thrower Amit Kumar (24) pulled a big surprise as he won the men’s event with a notable personal best 79.14m ahead of Ravinder Singh Khaira (78.11m) and Vipin Kasana (77.94m) whereas national record-holder Rajender Singh finished outside the podium with a performance of 76.65m.

Tamil Nadu distance runners L Suriya and G Lakshmanan (both secured gold in 5000 and 10000m) as well as middle distance star M Gomathi (gold in 800 and 1500m) made it a “double” here.

In 5,000m this morning Suriya came closer to O P Jaisha's meet mark of 15:57.05 with a fast 15:59.6 while Maharashtra's duo Swati Gadhave and Sanjivani Jadhav replicated their position from 10,000m held on the opening day.

Kerala’s National Games champion Vallikhad Santhini posted a personal best 23.88 secs to win the women’s 200m.
In the men’s race Haryana lad Dharambir successfully defended his title in 20.90 secs but missed the Rio qualification by 0.40 secs.

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