Dutee Chand smashed her own national record, clocking 11.22 seconds (in the women’s 100m semi-finals) on her way to the gold medal at the 59th National Open Athletics Championships here on Friday.
Dutee later clocked 11.25 seconds in the final to claim gold, leaving Archana Suseendran and Himashree Roy in the wake. “A couple of days ago, I had the wrong belief that my body was tired at the end of the season. I recovered well to be able to break the record,” said Dutee. Her statemate Amiya Kumar Malik, who has been struggling to find his rhythm the whole season, won the bragging rights as the fastest man in the National Open.
He won the men’s 100m in 10.46 seconds, while Gurindervir Singh (Punjab) emerged winner of the bronze medal. MP Jabir (AFI) rewrote the men’s 400m hurdles meet record, winning the final in 49.41 seconds. He improved on the mark of 49.67 seconds set by Dharun Ayyasamy (Tamil Nadu) last year.
Dharun himself, running only his third hurdles race since recovering from an injury, will be pleased that he clocked 49.50 seconds for the second place, leaving T Santhosh Kumar (Services) in the third spot. Earlier, in a close finish, Haryana’s Rahul Rohilla won the men’s 20m race walking, ahead of the more seasoned K Ganapathi (AFI) and Sandeep Kumar (Services).
The Group B winner of the event in the National Race Walking Championship in Chennai in February, he finished on top of a better field this time. There was some positive news for long jumper M Sreeshankar, who leapt to 7.93m to lead the 12 qualifiers for the final.