India 3rd in asian school track meet
Kerala athletes P U Chitra and Mohammed Afzal today brought cheers to the Indian camp by clinching a golden double each in the first-ever Asian School Track and Field Championship, being held at Kuala Lumpur.
Chitra won the 1500 m race after finishing with a timing of 4:39.11 secs while Afzal clinched the 1500 m race by clocking 3:58.34 secs, for their second gold medal in the championship. Another Kerala girl T S Arya struck the third gold for India on the final day of the championship. The student of SNVM School Vannappuram finished first in 100 m hurdles.
A plus two student of Mundur Higher Secondary School in Palakkad, Chitra, winner of the 58th National School Games at Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, had earlier bagged the gold in the 3000 m race with a timing of 10:05.22 secs. Afzal, a plus one student of Parli Higher Secondary School in Palakkad, had earlier won the 800 m race. Soon after winning the yellow metal in the 1500 m, Chitra had telephoned her home at Mundur to convey the news, her mother said.
Twelve Kerala athletes including seven girls, have been selected in the Indian team for the Asian School Track and Field championship. Kerala athletes P.U. Chithra and Mohammed Afsal bagged their second gold medals at the first Asian schools track & field championships in Malaysia on Saturday .
Afsal of Parli HSS and Chithra of Mundur HSS, both in Palakkad, took gold in the 1500m races after having earlier won the 800m and 3000m races respectively. Chithra clocked 4:39.11 mins while Afsal timed at an impressive 3:58.34 mins to complete their respective doubles in the championships.
Another Kerala athlete, T.S. Arya claimed first place in the 100m hurdles while national schools champion Maria Jaison had to settle for silver in junior pole vault. Arya won with a convincing time of 14.86 seconds while Thailand's Sukanya Klamak pipped Ankita Sunil of India by 1/100th of a second to take silver, clocking 15.00 sec.
Nanthaka Raksawai of Thailand won gold in girls pole vault with an outstanding 3.30m and Kerala girl Maria cleared 3.10m in her second attempt to bag silver. Maria had set a meet record in the national schools athletics championship held at Etawa in Uttar Pradesh in January .
India finished third overall with eight gold, 10 silver and six bronze medals, behind hosts Malaysia and Thailand who secured first and second places respectively.